The first year of the SEAmBOTH project is coming to an end. While the days are getting colder and the ice starts covering the waters of Bothnian Bay, we’re looking back at the field surveys of 2017 and reminiscing warm, sunny days out at sea (maybe not all the time?).
During the summer, staff from Metsähallitus (Finland) and County Administrative Board (Sweden) had their dry suits on and spent the days monitoring underwater vegetation of the shallow areas on respective side of the bay. From wading to snorkeling, diving and filming with dropvideo camera, the different plant species were meticulously identified and their abundance recorded. As an example of good news, it can be mentioned that for example the plant Alisma wahlenbergii (Baltic water-plantain) was found at new sites both along the Swedish and Finnish coast. A. wahlenbergii is endemic to the Baltic sea and some adjoining lakes. It is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN red-list of threatened species and protected by law.
The Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) had one of their ships in the Bothnian Bay and spent time scanning the seafloor to produce maps of the underwater landscape. To do this, they require certain technical equipment, such as multibeam and side scan sonar, with which they can “see” the seafloor and create a visualization of what it looks like down at the bottom of the sea.
The ELY centres in Finland were recording the water quality with samples taken from monitoring station at sea, both outside of Torneå and Oulu. Data of the water quality play an important role when it comes to analyzing and interpreting the satellite remote sensing data, which will be recorded during the next year.