Finnish Environment Institute | Suomen ympäristökeskus | Finlands miljöcentral

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Leading marine research in the Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea is an important part of Finnish identity and international culture. The Baltic Sea is a shallow sea with brackish water and it is strained by a large population, which makes the sea vulnerable. We produce information on the state and changes of the sea to support decision-making.

With the help of research, we estimate the effect of human activities on the Baltic Sea and the requirements of sustainable development in the Baltic Sea. We produce methods for estimating the state of the sea and for planning maritime areas, and information to reconcile ecological, economic and societal goals.

SYKE coordinates and realises national long-term monitoring of the sea and researches the functioning of seas in a multidisciplinary way by using modelling, measurements and observations. We act as an expert on the implementation of Finnish marine resource management planning, EU maritime legislation and the Baltic Sea environmental protection convention.

The marine research vessel Aranda, the Utö marine research station and our laboratories provide excellent facilities for developing the technology of marine research. Our work is supported by FINMARI (Finnish Marine Research Infrastructure), which is coordinated by SYKE.

We cooperate with Estonia and Russia for the good of the marine environment of the Gulf of Finland. We work together closely with European universities, research institutes and enterprises. Our work also extends to the Arctic region and developing countries.


"Our vision is to be globally significant and an internationally operating pioneer of the wide-ranging research and monitoring of coastal waters and the development of marine research methods."

-Paula Kankaanpää Director of the SYKE Marine Research Centre


Our areas of expertise

Research of ecosystems

  • Marine ecosystem functions, food webs and modelling 
  • Marine bio-geo-chemical processes
  • Marine environment diversity and habitats

Effects of human actions on marine environment

  • Harmful substances
  • Climate change: marine and sea ice ecosystems
  • Littering of seas and microlitter in cold marine areas
  • Socio-economic significance of a marine environment
  • Eutrophication and prevention of eutrophication
  • Underwater noise pollution
  • Alien species and their impact
  • Impacts of oil spills and oil spill exercise and prevention methods on the Arctic region

Development of methods

  • Models for assessing the ecosystem effect of water and marine resource management to support decision-making
  • Methods of planning maritime areas
  • Methods of marine research and assessment, and new automatic monitoring and research methods including using computer vision applications for species identification
  • Experimental marine environment research
Paula Kankaanpää (pieni kuva)

   Director of the Marine Research Centre Paula Kankaanpää

Personnel contacts

Personnel: Marine Research Centre

Press releases and news

Merianalyytikko Pia Varmanen esittelee näytteitä elokuu 2019 kuvaaja Ilkka Lastumäki

Recent monitoring results: Areas suffering from oxygen depletion in the Gulf of Finland have increased from last summer

In the Gulf of Finland, the areas suffering from oxygen depletion have expanded from last summer. The anoxic areas in the Baltic Proper are approximately similar in size than in the autumn of 2018, when the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute estimated them to be more extensive than ever before. The oxygen situation in the Bothnian Sea and the Bay of Bothnia is good, like last year, as indicated by the Finnish Environment Institute’s monitoring results from summer 2019.
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Published 2017-10-02 at 10:21, updated 2019-07-11 at 13:59
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