Project area: Hanö Bight (SWE)
The Project area covers 920 000 ha (incl. 680 000 ha marine area) in the South-western part of Sweden.
Human activities in the area include military sea exercise areas, two larger harbours for shipping Karlshamn and Karlskrona in vicinity, fishing and recreation. Some companies have applied for permits to construct offshore windfarms.
Hanö Bight has high conservation values due to wintering seabirds, high diversity reefs and sandbanks, large fish stocks, and vast eelgrass meadows. Also marine mammal species such as the Grey and Harbour Seals and Harbour Porpoise regularly occur in Hanö Bight.4.2% of the area is covered by Natura 2000 sites.
In the frame of MARMONI project several surveys were performed during 2011 and 2012 by experts in different fields in order to cover different groups of species in the Hanö Bight. Birds were counted from a small airplane flying in predefined patterns over the area while fish were surveyed from a ship by a combination of an advanced hydroacoustics technique and a small trawl. In order to study the flora and fauna on the bottom divers visited some locations and a small team performed an extensive underwater video survey from a boat and used a bottom grab to take samples from the bottom sediment. Please see the map on the right side where the spots marked of diving, dropvideo, fish and bird surveys (click to enlarge).
Project area: Coastal area of South-West Finland
The Project area covers 1 800 000 ha (incl. 1 097 304 ha marine area) in the South-western part of Finland. The area is actively used for tourism, recreation and fishing, especially in summer, as there are thousands of summer cottages on islands. The area has also been used widely for research purposes. The mosaic-like geology of the area has enabled the development of diverse marine communities and habitats, varying from shallow and sheltered soft-bottom communities of the inner archipelago and bay areas to the exposed hard bottom communities of the outer archipelago. Important breeding grounds for fish are found in the area, but the area is also important for seals and many bird species for migration, feeding and reproduction.11% is covered by Natura 2000 sites. Please see the map on the right side where the sampling in the frame of MARMONI project was performed (click to enlarge).
Project area: Gulf of Finland (FIN-EST)
The Project area covers 420 150 ha in the Central and Western Gulf of Finland shared between Finland and Estonia. The area is intensively used for shipping. The bottoms of the open Gulf of Finland are in a severely disturbed state. Regular or occasional oxygen deficiency in the deep basins has resulted in decrease or even total lack of zoobenthos. The area was used for testing of open sea pelagic and benthic biodiversity indicators, especially concentrating on phytoplankton and zooplankton communities. Please see the map on the right side where the sampling in the frame of MARMONI project was performed (click to enlarge).
© Metsähallitus © Metsähallitus
Project area: Gulf of Riga (EST-LAT)
The Project area covers 1 791 159 ha in the Gulf of Riga and Irbe Strait in Latvia and Estonia.
The area has high socio-economic significance. Human activities impacting this area are industry, agriculture, fishing, recreation, military use and shipping. Shipping is the most important use of the Gulf. There are many commercial harbours. The Irbe Strait is a very important international ship traffic route – the only access from the Baltic Proper to the Gulf. The Gulf is also potentially interesting for wind energy production and extraction of some mineral resources.
The Gulf of Riga is one of the most naturally diverse areas in the Baltic Sea. The coastal part of the Gulf hosts reef habitats that are hard bottom oasis for various plant, fish and invertebrate communities. Habitats on soft bottoms provide shelter for many invertebrates, which are food resource for large numbers of migrating and wintering bird species. Pelagic habitats with phytoplankton and zooplankton feed both commercial and other fish species. Ringed Seals and Grey Seals use the project area as feeding ground and northern part for breeding.19% of the area is covered by Natura 2000 sites.
Project co-financiers: Latvian Environmental Protection Fund and Estonian Environmental Investment Centre