• 10 facts you may not know about deep-sea fisheries

    Author: Natividad Sánchez
    Date: April 10, 2014

    The EU is in the process of reforming its current regulation on deep-sea fishing in the North-East Atlantic. This law dates back to 2002 and has proven to be very ineffective – deep-sea species have not been managed sustainably, and fisheries have been permitted to damage vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems. Do you know the facts about these fisheries and their impacts?

  • Meet the Shorthorn Sculpin

    Author: Michalis Mihalitsis
    Date: March 14, 2014

    The Shorthorn Sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) is found in Northern Atlantic waters and throughout most of the Baltic, ranging in sizes from 20 to 30 centimeters. It’s a benthic living fish, which means that it lives on the bottom of the sea, where it lays its eggs between the rocks and feeds on crustaceans and small fish. As with many other fish, its eggs are guarded by the male and not the female.

  • EU seas are in bad shape

    Author: Hanna Paulomäki and Nicolas Fournier
    Date: March 13, 2014

    In 2008, EU Member States took an ambitious decision to safeguard and restore the state of European seas by 2020. After years of negotiations, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive was adopted, which aimed at making sure all human activities that impact the quality of our marine environment are addressed. Today, five years since implementation, and with six more years to go, the goal seems more of a challenge to reach.

  • Meet the three-spined stickleback

    Author: Peter Pierrou
    Date: February 14, 2014

    Here’s a Valentine’s Day fish for you – a fish that literally builds its own love nest. The three-spined stickleback and its subspecies are spread out across many coastal waters of the  northern hemisphere. It’s very adaptable and can live in fresh, brackish or salt water.

  • Animal behavioral studies

    Author: Peter Pierrou
    Date: January 22, 2014

    Is there anything we can learn from all the animals that we share the planet with? I think most people would say a definitive yes, but when quizzed about exactly what, I’m not so sure all of us could come up with a well thought-out answer. Personally, I think we can learn something about behaviour. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not the first one with that thought. Animal behavioural studies have been around for almost one hundred years, so I missed my claim to fame by a century or so, but still I see something interesting there. 

  • I see carnivorous sponges

    Author: Peter Pierrou
    Date: December 13, 2013

    No, it’s not a figment of my imagination haunting my nightmares, but a real life form found by Oceana at the Chella bank, a seamount just off the southeast coast of Spain. But this place holds even more secrets than meat-eating sponges; it’s practically brimming with biodiversity. Deep-sea coral reefs, cetaceans, octopuses, sharks and a multitude of fish can all be found around this set of elevations, with the highest  one found at 80 meters deep.

  • Meet the Perch

    Author: Mike Michalitsis
    Date: December 3, 2013

    The perch is originally a freshwater fish, found in lakes and streams, but since it’s very euryhaline, which means it can adapt to a wide range of salinities, it can also be found in brackish waters. Found both in Europe and Asia, this fish has also been introduced in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

  • Meet the Goldsinny Wrasse

    Author: Mike Michalitsis
    Date: November 15, 2013

    The Goldsinny Wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris) usually lives in highly vegetated areas  in Kattegat,  the Danish Belts, and sometimes all the way up to Estonia. The little bright orange fish can usually be recognized by a black spot located right between the dorsal fin and the tail.

  • Empty nets – the value of no fish

    Author: Peter Pierrou
    Date: November 12, 2013

    Last week the cream of the crop of Baltic Sea experts met in Stockholm to discuss how to put a price on the services that our ecosystems provide. Scientists, researchers, foundations, authorities and NGOs – everybody was asked to put their view forward.

    The concept of ecosystem services have been around for quite a while, but in the last couple of years it has risen to become somewhat of an “it-thing” among Baltic Sea region environmentalists.

    You want proof?

  • Happy Halloween: Viperfish terrors

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: October 31, 2013

    While looking through images from our Ranger expedition, we came upon this creepy creature that eerily looks like its wearing a skull mask.

    Turns out even its name sends a bit of a shiver down the spine. This member of the dragonfish family is called a sloane's viperfish  and currently holds the world record for the largest teeth relative to head size (yikes). Those teeth don't mess around either; they are so large that the viperfish has to open its mouth to make its jaws vertical before it can even swallow prey!