State of the sea and monitoring

Marine conservation and marine management in Finland are governed by the national legislation and the EU. The task of Syke is to coordinate the production and collection of information related to Finland’s marine strategy and to coordinate its reporting under the Ministry of the Environment.

We produce information that helps decision-makers form a full view of the state of the Baltic Sea and its changes. We work in international cooperation to identify indicators that help describe the ecological state of the marine environment and the human impacts.

meri kuvituskuva ilkka lastumäki 556px
Photo: Ilkka Lastumäki

Maritime monitoring provides a basis for decision-making

Syke collects long-term time series of the chemical and biological state of the open sea and the concentrations of hazardous substances in water, living organisms and marine sediment. In addition to open sea monitoring, Syke monitors the state of our southern coastal waters and coordinates the state monitoring of coastal waters conducted by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres). The monitoring is included in the marine strategy of Finland.

Research and estimations of state of the sea are based on monitoring data and form a basis for making marine conservation decisions. Long-term time series help to understand, for instance, the impacts of eutrophication, hazardous substances and climate change on marine nature. The data enable comprehensive assessments of the state of the sea. They are also used to model the future development of the state of the sea and to assess the effectiveness of current conservation measures and the need for new measures.

Photo: Ilkka Lastumäki

The marine environment monitoring programme is revised every six years. The monitoring programme includes:

  • Monitoring marine mammals, seabirds and fish
  • Monitoring the habitats on the seabed and the water column
  • Monitoring introduced species
  • Monitoring eutrophication and changes in hydrography
  • Monitoring environmental toxins
  • Monitoring littering and underwater noise

Syke is also responsible for compiling a report on the state of the marine environment in Finland, published every six years on the basis of monitoring data.

English summary of the state of the marine environment in Finland is available in the portal:

Key projects



August 2022 research cruises: Gulf of Finland oxygen problems remain 2022-12-01
The Finnish Environment Institute monitored the state of Finland's marine areas in August. The sea bottom in the deep parts of the Gulf of Finland were oxygen depleted, and the oxygen situation of the deep bottom areas of the coast had deteriorated, which was also reflected in higher levels of phosphate phosphorus and reduced numbers of benthic animals. The oxygen and benthic animal situations are clearly better in the Archipelago Sea than they are in the Gulf of Finland.
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Summary of the national cyanobacteria review June–August 2022: Abundant cyanobacteria observed at sea this summer, cyanobacterial situation in lakes remained at the level of recent years 2022-08-25
The cyanobacterial situation in the past summer has varied according to changing weather conditions. Cyanobacterial levels in sea areas and lakes peaked during the hottest periods of the summer in mid-July and mid-August. The cooler weather in late July and early August curbed the growth of cyanobacterial blooms for a while. In lakes, this summer’s cyanobacterial situation remained quite typical compared to previous years.
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Published 2021-12-31 at 14:54, updated 2023-01-13 at 14:00
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