The Sound (Øresund/Öresund), located between Sweden and Denmark, forms (together with the Belts) a connection between the brackish Baltic Sea and the saltier North Sea. Protected areas in the Sound are mostly small, scattered sites, and the area remains mostly unprotected, despite the presence of many special communities and formations such as newly discovered bubbling reef in the northern part of the Sound.
Oceana's 2011, 2012 and 2013 research expeditions documented the high value of these habitats for marine life. The Sound comprises a unique set of species and communities that have benefitted from a long-standing trawling ban, yet remain at risk from other harmful activities (e.g., sand dredging, land reclamation, and pollution) which are still permitted in the area.
The 2016 expedition in the Sound will study and document the area’s biodiversity, and the human activities that threaten it. Oceana’s findings will be used to develop a detailed proposal for the area’s protection and management, and will be shared with relevant authorities and local communities.
The overall goal of this project is to drive the development of transnational MPAs in the Baltic Sea, beginning with The Sound, thereby creating a model that can serve as an example for other areas in the Baltic Sea, and for other European sea regions.
The expedition is funded by a generous grant from the Swedish Postcode Foundation.