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



Personnel contact details

Marine management

Any questions?

Vivi Fleming, marine management

Aranda's monitoring cruise: Baltic Sea oxygen level normal, but nutrient conditions have deteriorated 2022-02-18
The research vessel Aranda has returned from its annual winter monitoring cruise. The cruise investigated the current physical and chemical state of Finnish sea areas and the levels of harmful substances in the sea. Phosphorus levels were found to have increased in Finnish sea areas.
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Baltic Sea monitoring cruises in August 2021: Signs of recovery in the Gulf of Finland, situation in the Bothnian Sea cause for concern 2021-09-24
Monitoring cruises show that the Gulf of Finland has recovered from the deterioration caused indirectly by salt pulses in the Baltic Sea in the mid-2010s. Weather-regulated flows between the Gulf of Finland and the main basin of the Baltic Sea cause fluctuations in the state of the Gulf, which makes it difficult to discern the impact of emission reductions. In deep-water regions of the Bothnian Sea, oxygen levels appear to continue to deteriorate.
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Aranda’s monitoring cruise: Spring bloom peak in Gulf of Finland and Baltic Proper 2021-05-18
The annual spring monitoring cruise of R/V Aranda took place in late April. This time the researchers ventured into new fields, as they also took genetic samples for phytoplankton. During the cruise the phytoplankton spring bloom was already at its peak in the Gulf of Finland. Spring is the time with the densest phytoplankton blooms in the Baltic Sea, but the phenomena is mostly unnoticed.
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Published 2021-12-31 at 14:54, updated 2022-03-18 at 13:45
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