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The BALTIC SEA is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
, enclosed by Scandinavia
Scandinavia
, Finland
Finland
, the Baltic countries , and the North European Plain . It includes the Gulf of Bothnia , the Bay of Bothnia , the Gulf of Finland
Finland
, the Gulf of Riga
Riga
, and the Bay of Gdańsk
Gdańsk
. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 10°E to 30°E longitude . A mediterranean sea of the Atlantic, with limited water exchange between the two bodies, the Baltic Sea
Sea
drains through the Danish islands into the Kattegat by way of the straits of Øresund , the Great Belt , and the Little Belt .

The Baltic Proper is bordered on its northern edge, at the latitude 60°N , by the Åland islands
Åland islands
and the Gulf of Bothnia , on its northeastern edge by the Gulf of Finland
Finland
, on its eastern edge by the Gulf of Riga
Riga
, and in the west by the Swedish part of the southern Scandinavian Peninsula.

The Baltic Sea
Sea
is connected by artificial waterways to the White Sea via the White Sea
Sea
Canal and to the German Bight of the North Sea
Sea
via the Kiel
Kiel
Canal .

CONTENTS

* 1 Definitions

* 2 Etymology

* 2.1 Name in other languages

* 3 History

* 3.1 The Classical world * 3.2 The Middle Ages
Middle Ages
* 3.3 An arena of conflict * 3.4 Since World War II
World War II
* 3.5 Storm floods

* 4 Geography

* 4.1 Geophysical data * 4.2 Extent * 4.3 Subdivisions * 4.4 The ice * 4.5 Hydrography * 4.6 Salinity
Salinity
* 4.7 Major tributaries * 4.8 Islands and archipelagoes

* 4.9 Coastal countries

* 4.9.1 Cities

* 5 Geology
Geology

* 5.1 Anomalous object/formation

* 6 Biology

* 6.1 Fauna * 6.2 Environmental status

* 7 Economy

* 7.1 Tourism

* 8 The Helsinki
Helsinki
Convention

* 8.1 1974 Convention * 8.2 1992 Convention

* 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links

DEFINITIONS

Danish Straits and southwestern Baltic Sea
Sea

ADMINISTRATION

The Helsinki
Helsinki
Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea
Sea
Area includes the Baltic Sea
Sea
and the Kattegat , without calling Kattegat a part of the Baltic Sea, "For the purposes of this Convention the "Baltic Sea
Sea
Area" shall be the Baltic Sea
Sea
and the Entrance to the Baltic Sea, bounded by the parallel of the Skaw in the Skagerrak at 57°44.43'N."

TRAFFIC HISTORY

Historically, the Kingdom of Denmark
Denmark
collected Sound Dues from ships at the border between the ocean and the land-locked Baltic Sea. They were collected in the Øresund at Kronborg
Kronborg
castle near Helsingør , in the Great Belt at Nyborg
Nyborg
. In the Little Belt , the site of intake was moved to Fredericia , after that stronghold had been built. The narrowest part of Little Belt is the " Middelfart Sund" near Middelfart .

OCEANOGRAPHY

Geographers widely agree that the preferred physical border of the Baltic is a line drawn through the southern Danish islands, Drogden-Sill and Langeland . The Drogden Sill is situated north of Køge Bugt and connects Dragør
Dragør
in the south of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
to Malmö ; it is used by the Øresund Bridge , including the _ Drogden Tunnel_. By this definition, the Danish Straits are part of the entrance, but the Bay of Mecklenburg and the Bay of Kiel
Kiel
are parts of the Baltic Sea. Another usual border is the line between Falsterbo
Falsterbo
, Sweden
Sweden
and Stevns Klint , Denmark, as this is the southern border of Øresund . It's also the border between the shallow southern Øresund (with a typical depth of 5-10 meters only) and notably deeper water.

HYDROGRAPHY AND BIOLOGY

Drogden Sill (depth of 7 m (23 ft)) sets a limit to Øresund and Darss Sill (depth of 18 m (59 ft)), and a limit to the Belt Sea. The shallow sills are obstacles to the flow of heavy salt water from the Kattegat into the basins around Bornholm
Bornholm
and Gotland
Gotland
.

The Kattegat and the southwestern Baltic Sea
Sea
are well oxygenated and have a rich biology. The remainder of the Sea
Sea
is brackish, poor in oxygen and in species. Thus, statistically, the more of the entrance that is included in its definition, the healthier the Baltic appears; conversely, the more narrowly it is defined, the more endangered its biology appears.

ETYMOLOGY

While Tacitus
Tacitus
called it _Mare Suebicum_ after the Germanic people called the Suebi , Ptolemy - _Sarmatian Ocean_ , the first to name it the _Baltic Sea_ (_Mare Balticum_) was the eleventh-century German chronicler Adam of Bremen . The origin of the latter name is speculative and it was adopted into Slavic and Finnic languages spoken around the sea very likely due to the role of Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
in cartography . It might be connected to the Germanic word _belt_, a name used for two of the Danish straits, the Belts , while others claim it to be directly derived from the source of the Germanic word, Latin
Latin
_balteus_ (belt). Adam of Bremen himself compared the sea with a belt, stating that it is so named because it stretches through the land as a belt (_Balticus, eo quod in modum baltei longo tractu per Scithicas regiones tendatur usque in Greciam_). He might also have been influenced by the name of a legendary island mentioned in the _Natural History_ of Pliny the Elder . Pliny mentions an island named Baltia (or _Balcia_) with reference to accounts of Pytheas
Pytheas
and Xenophon
Xenophon
. It is possible that Pliny refers to an island named _Basilia_ ("kingdom" or "royal") in _On the Ocean_ by Pytheas. _Baltia_ also might be derived from "belt" and mean "near belt of sea (strait)." Meanwhile, others have suggested that the name of the island originates from the Proto-Indo-European root *_bhel_ meaning _white, fair_. This root and its basic meaning were retained in both Lithuanian (as _baltas_) and Latvian (as _balts_). On this basis, a related hypothesis holds that the name originated from this Indo-European root via a Baltic language
Baltic language
such as Lithuanian. Another explanation is that, while derived from the aforementioned root, the name of the sea is related to names for various forms of water and related substances in several European languages, that might have been originally associated with colors found in swamps (compare Proto-Slavic _*bolto_ "swamp"). Yet another explanation is that the name originally meant "enclosed sea, bay" as opposed to open sea. Some Swedish historians believe the name derives from the god Balder of Nordic mythology.

In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
the sea was known by variety of names. The name _Baltic Sea_ became dominant only after 1600. Usage of _Baltic_ and similar terms to denote the region east of the sea started only in 19th century.

NAME IN OTHER LANGUAGES

The Baltic Sea
Sea
was known in ancient Latin
Latin
language sources as _Mare Suebicum _ or _Mare Germanicum_. Older native names in languages that used to be spoken on the shores of the sea or near it usually indicate the geographical location of the sea (in Germanic languages), or its size in relation to smaller gulfs (in Old Latvian), or tribes associated with it (in Old Russian the sea was known as the Varanghian Sea). In modern languages it is known by the equivalents of "East Sea", "West Sea", or "Baltic Sea" in different languages:

* _BALTIC SEA_ is used in _English _; in the _ Baltic languages
Baltic languages
_ Latvian (_Baltijas jūra_) (in Old Latvian the Baltic Sea
Sea
was referred to as "the Big Sea" while the present day Gulf of Riga
Riga
was referred to as "the Little Sea") and Lithuanian (_Baltijos jūra_); in _ Latin
Latin
_ (_Mare Balticum_) and the _ Romance languages
Romance languages
_ French (_Mer Baltique_), Italian (_Mar Baltico_), Portuguese (_Mar Báltico_), Romanian (_Marea Baltică_) and Spanish (_Mar Báltico_); in Greek (Βαλτική Θάλασσα _Valtikí Thálassa_); in Albanian (_Deti Balltik_); in Welsh (_Môr Baltig_); in the _ Slavic languages _ Polish (_Morze Bałtyckie_ or _Bałtyk_), Czech (_Baltské moře_ or _Balt_), Slovenian (_Baltsko morje_), Bulgarian (Балтийско море _Baltijsko More_), Kashubian (_Bôłt_), Macedonian (Балтичко Море _Baltičko More_), Ukrainian (Балтійське море _Baltijs′ke More_), Belarusian (Балтыйскае мора _Baltyjskaje Mora_), Russian (Балтийское море _Baltiyskoye More_) and Serbo-Croatian (Baltičko more / Балтичко море); in Hungarian (Balti-tenger). * In _ Germanic languages
Germanic languages
_, except English, _EAST SEA_ is used: Afrikaans
Afrikaans
(_Oossee_), Danish (_Østersøen_), Dutch (_Oostzee_), German (_Ostsee_), Icelandic and Faroese (_Eystrasalt_), Norwegian (_Østersjøen_), and Swedish (_Östersjön_). In Old English
Old English
it was known as _Ostsæ_, in Hungarian the former name was Keleti-tenger (due the German influence). * In addition, Finnish , a Finnic language , has calqued the Swedish term as _Itämeri_ "East Sea", disregarding the geography (the sea is west of Finland), though understandably since Finland
Finland
was a part of Sweden
Sweden
from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
until 1809. * In another Finnic language, Estonian , it is called the _WEST SEA_ (_Läänemeri_), with the correct geography (the sea is west of Estonia).

HISTORY

THE CLASSICAL WORLD

At the time of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
, the Baltic Sea
Sea
was known as the _Mare Suebicum_ or _Mare Sarmaticum_. Tacitus
Tacitus
in his AD 98 _Agricola_ and _Germania_ described the Mare Suebicum, named for the Suebi tribe, during the spring months, as a brackish sea where the ice broke apart and chunks floated about. The Suebi eventually migrated south west to reside for a while in the Rhineland area of modern Germany, where their name survives in the historic region known as Swabia
Swabia
. Jordanes called it the _Germanic Sea_ in his work, the _ Getica
Getica
_.

THE MIDDLE AGES

Cape Arkona on the island of Rügen in Germany, was a sacred site of the Slavs before Christianization.

In the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, Norse (Scandinavian) merchants built a trade empire all around the Baltic. Later, the Norse fought for control of the Baltic against Wendish tribes dwelling on the southern shore. The Norse also used the rivers of Russia
Russia
for trade routes, finding their way eventually to the Black Sea
Sea
and southern Russia. This Norse-dominated period is referred to as the Viking Age .

Since the Viking age , the Scandinavians have referred to the Baltic Sea
Sea
as _Austmarr_ ("Eastern Lake"). "Eastern Sea", appears in the _ Heimskringla
Heimskringla
_ and _Eystra salt_ appears in _ Sörla þáttr _. Saxo Grammaticus recorded in _ Gesta Danorum _ an older name, _ Gandvik _, _-vik_ being Old Norse for "bay", which implies that the Vikings correctly regarded it as an inlet of the sea. Another form of the name, "Grandvik", attested in at least one English translation of _Gesta Danorum_, is likely to be a misspelling.)

In addition to fish the sea also provides amber , especially from its southern shores within today's borders of Poland
Poland
, Russia
Russia
and Lithuania
Lithuania
. First mentions of amber deposits on the South coast of the Baltic Sea
Sea
date back to the 12th century. The bordering countries have also traditionally exported lumber, wood tar , flax , hemp and furs by ship across the Baltic. Sweden
Sweden
had from early medieval times exported iron and silver mined there, while Poland
Poland
had and still has extensive salt mines. Thus the Baltic Sea
Sea
has long been crossed by much merchant shipping.

The lands on the Baltic's eastern shore were among the last in Europe to be converted to Christianity
Christianity
. This finally happened during the Northern Crusades : Finland
Finland
in the twelfth century by Swedes, and what are now Estonia
Estonia
and Latvia
Latvia
in the early thirteenth century by Danes and Germans ( Livonian Brothers of the Sword ). The Teutonic Order gained control over parts of the southern and eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where they set up their monastic state . Lithuania
Lithuania
was the last European state to convert to Christianity
Christianity
.

AN ARENA OF CONFLICT

_ Main trading routes of the Hanseatic League (Hanse_). In 1649 the settlement of the Latvian-speaking Kursenieki
Kursenieki
spanned from Klaipėda to Gdańsk
Gdańsk
along the coast of the Baltic Sea.

In the period between the 8th and 14th centuries, there was much piracy in the Baltic from the coasts of Pomerania
Pomerania
and Prussia
Prussia
, and the Victual Brothers even held Gotland
Gotland
.

Starting in the 11th century, the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic were settled by migrants mainly from Germany
Germany
, a movement called the _ Ostsiedlung _ ("east settling"). Other settlers were from the Netherlands
Netherlands
, Denmark
Denmark
, and Scotland
Scotland
. The Polabian Slavs
Polabian Slavs
were gradually assimilated by the Germans. Denmark
Denmark
gradually gained control over most of the Baltic coast, until she lost much of her possessions after being defeated in the 1227 Battle of Bornhöved . _ The naval Battle of the Sound took place on 8 November 1658 during the Dano-Swedish War . The burning Cap Arcona _ shortly after the attacks, 3 May 1945. Only 350 survived of the 4,500 prisoners who had been aboard

In the 13th to 16th centuries, the strongest economic force in Northern Europe
Europe
was the Hanseatic League , a federation of merchant cities around the Baltic Sea
Sea
and the North Sea
Sea
. In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Poland
Poland
, Denmark
Denmark
, and Sweden
Sweden
fought wars for _ Dominium maris baltici _ ("Lordship over the Baltic Sea"). Eventually, it was Sweden
Sweden
that virtually encompassed the Baltic Sea
Sea
. In Sweden
Sweden
the sea was then referred to as _Mare Nostrum Balticum_ ("Our Baltic Sea"). The goal of Swedish warfare during the 17th century was to make the Baltic Sea
Sea
an all-Swedish sea (_Ett Svenskt innanhav_), something that was accomplished except the rout between Riga
Riga
in Latvia
Latvia
and Szczecin
Szczecin
in Poland. However, it was the Dutch who dominated Baltic trade in the seventeenth century.

In the eighteenth century, Russia
Russia
and Prussia
Prussia
became the leading powers over the sea. Sweden's defeat in the Great Northern War brought Russia
Russia
to the eastern coast. Russia
Russia
became and remained a dominating power in the Baltic. Russia's Peter the Great
Peter the Great
saw the strategic importance of the Baltic and decided to found his new capital, Saint Petersburg , at the mouth of the Neva
Neva
river at the east end of the Gulf of Finland
Finland
. There was much trading not just within the Baltic region but also with the North Sea
Sea
region, especially eastern England and the Netherlands
Netherlands
: their fleets needed the Baltic timber, tar, flax and hemp.

During the Crimean War , a joint British and French fleet attacked the Russian fortresses in the Baltic. They bombarded Sveaborg , which guards Helsinki
Helsinki
; and Kronstadt , which guards Saint Petersburg; and they destroyed Bomarsund in the Åland Islands
Åland Islands
. After the unification of Germany
Germany
in 1871, the whole southern coast became German. World War I was partly fought in the Baltic Sea. After 1920 Poland
Poland
was connected to the Baltic Sea
Sea
by the Polish Corridor and enlarged the port of Gdynia
Gdynia
in rivalry with the port of the Free City of Danzig
Free City of Danzig
.

During World War II
World War II
, Germany
Germany
reclaimed all of the southern and much of the eastern shore by occupying Poland
Poland
and the Baltic states. In 1945, the Baltic Sea
Sea
became a mass grave for retreating soldiers and refugees on torpedoed troop transports . The sinking of the _Wilhelm Gustloff _ remains the worst maritime disaster in history, killing (very roughly) 9,000 people. In 2005, a Russian group of scientists found over five thousand airplane wrecks, sunken warships, and other material, mainly from World War II, on the bottom of the sea.

SINCE WORLD WAR II

Since the end of World War II
World War II
, various nations, including the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States, have disposed of chemical weapons in the Baltic Sea, raising concerns of environmental contamination. Even now fishermen accidentally retrieve some of these materials: the most recent available report from the Helsinki Commission notes that four small scale catches of chemical munitions representing approximately 105 kg (231 lb) of material were reported in 2005. This is a reduction from the 25 incidents representing 1,110 kg (2,450 lb) of material in 2003. Until now, the U.S. Government refuses to disclose the exact coordinates of the wreck sites. Rotting bottles leak Lost and other substances, thus slowly poisoning a substantial part of the Baltic Sea.

After 1945, the German population was expelled from all areas east of the Oder-Neisse line , making room for displaced Poles and Russians. Poland
Poland
gained most of the southern shore . The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
gained another access to the Baltic with the Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad
Oblast . The Baltic states on the eastern shore were annexed by the Soviet Union. The Baltic then separated opposing military blocs: NATO
NATO
and the Warsaw Pact . Had war broken out, the Polish navy was prepared to invade the Danish isles. This border status restricted trade and travel. It ended only after the collapse of the Communist
Communist
regimes in Central and Eastern Europe
Europe
in the late 1980s.

Since May 2004, with the accession of the Baltic states and Poland, the Baltic Sea
Sea
has been almost entirely surrounded by countries of the European Union
European Union
(EU). The only remaining non-EU shore areas are Russian: the Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
area and the exclave of the Kaliningrad Oblast .

Winter storms begin arriving in the region during October. These have caused numerous shipwrecks, and contributed to the extreme difficulties of rescuing passengers of the ferry _M/S Estonia
Estonia
_ en route from Tallinn
Tallinn
, Estonia, to Stockholm
Stockholm
, Sweden, in September 1994, which claimed the lives of 852 people. Older, wood-based shipwrecks such as the _Vasa _ tend to remain well-preserved, as the Baltic's cold and brackish water does not suit the shipworm .

STORM FLOODS

Storm surge floodings are generally taken to occur when the water level is more than one metre above normal. In Warnemünde about 110 floods occurred from 1950 to 2000, an average of just over two per year.

Historic flood events were the All Saints\' Flood of 1304 and other floods in the years 1320, 1449, 1625, 1694, 1784 and 1825. Little is known of their extent. From 1872, there exist regular and reliable records of water levels in the Baltic Sea. The highest was the flood of 1872 when the water was an average of 2.43 m (8 ft 0 in) above sea level at Warnemünde and a maximum of 2.83 m (9 ft 3 in) above sea level in Warnemünde. In the last very heavy floods the average water levels reached 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) above sea level in 1904, 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) in 1913, 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) in January 1954, 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) on 2–4 November 1995 and 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) on 21 February 2002.

GEOGRAPHY

GEOPHYSICAL DATA

Baltic drainage basins (catchment area), with depth, elevation, major rivers and lakes

An arm of the North Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
, the Baltic Sea
Sea
is enclosed by Sweden
Sweden
and Denmark
Denmark
to the northwest, Finland
Finland
to the northeast, the Baltic countries to the southeast, and the North European Plain to the southwest.

It is about 1,600 km (990 mi) long, an average of 193 km (120 mi) wide, and an average of 55 metres (180 ft) deep. The maximum depth is 459 m (1,506 ft) which is on the Swedish side of the center. The surface area is about 349,644 km2 (134,998 sq mi) and the volume is about 20,000 km3 (4,800 cu mi). The periphery amounts to about 8,000 km (5,000 mi) of coastline.

The Baltic Sea
Sea
is one of the largest brackish inland seas by area, and occupies a basin (a _zungenbecken _) formed by glacial erosion during the last few ice ages .

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BALTIC SEA, ITS MAIN SUB-REGIONS, AND THE TRANSITION ZONE TO THE SKAGERRAK/NORTH SEA AREA

SUB-AREA AREA VOLUME MAXIMUM DEPTH AVERAGE DEPTH

KM2 KM3 M M

1. Baltic proper 211,069 13,045 459 62.1

2. Gulf of Bothnia 115,516 6,389 230 60.2

3. Gulf of Finland 29,600 1,100 123 38.0

4. Gulf of Riga 16,300 424 > 60 26.0

5. Belt Sea/Kattegat 42,408 802 109 18.9

TOTAL BALTIC SEA 415,266 21,721 459 52.3

EXTENT

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Baltic Sea
Sea
as follows: Bordered by the coasts of Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia
Latvia
and Lithuania, it extends north-eastward of the following limits:

* _In the Little Belt ._ A line joining Falshöft (54°47′N 9°57.5′E / 54.783°N 9.9583°E / 54.783; 9.9583 ) and Vejsnæs Nakke ( Ærø
Ærø
: 54°49′N 10°26′E / 54.817°N 10.433°E / 54.817; 10.433 ). * _In the Great Belt ._ A line joining Gulstav (South extreme of Langeland Island) and Kappel Kirke (54°46′N 11°01′E / 54.767°N 11.017°E / 54.767; 11.017 ) on Island of Lolland . * _In Guldborg Sound ._ A line joining Flinthorne-Rev and Skjelby (54°38′N 11°53′E / 54.633°N 11.883°E / 54.633; 11.883 ). * _In the Sound ._ A line joining Stevns Lighthouse (55°17′N 12°27′E / 55.283°N 12.450°E / 55.283; 12.450 ) and Falsterbo
Falsterbo
Point (55°23′N 12°49′E / 55.383°N 12.817°E / 55.383; 12.817 ).

SUBDIVISIONS

Regions and basins of the Baltic Sea: 1 = Bothnian Bay
Bothnian Bay
2 = Bothnian Sea
Sea
1 + 2 = Gulf of Bothnia , partly also 3 "> Satellite image of the Baltic Sea
Sea
in a mild winter Traversing Baltic Sea
Sea
and ice

On the long-term average, the Baltic Sea
Sea
is ice-covered at the annual maximum for about 45% of its surface area. The ice-covered area during such a typical winter includes the Gulf of Bothnia , the Gulf of Finland
Finland
, the Gulf of Riga
Riga
, the archipelago west of Estonia, the Stockholm
Stockholm
archipelago , and the Archipelago
Archipelago
Sea
Sea
southwest of Finland. The remainder of the Baltic does not freeze during a normal winter, with the exception of sheltered bays and shallow lagoons such as the Curonian Lagoon . The ice reaches its maximum extent in February or March; typical ice thickness in the northernmost areas in the Bothnian Bay , the northern basin of the Gulf of Bothnia, is about 70 cm (28 in) for landfast sea ice. The thickness decreases farther south.

Freezing begins in the northern extremities of Gulf of Bothnia typically in the middle of November, reaching the open waters of the Bothnian Bay
Bothnian Bay
in early January. The Bothnian Sea
Sea
, the basin south of Kvarken
Kvarken
, freezes on average in late February. The Gulf of Finland
Finland
and the Gulf of Riga
Riga
freeze typically in late January. In 2011, the Gulf of Finland
Finland
was completely frozen on 15 February.

The ice extent depends on whether the winter is mild, moderate, or severe. Severe winters can lead to ice formation around southern Sweden
Sweden
and even in the Danish straits . According to the 18th-century natural historian William Derham , during the severe winters of 1703 and 1708, the ice cover reached as far as the Danish straits. Frequently, parts of the Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland
Finland
are frozen, in addition to coastal fringes in more southerly locations such as the Gulf of Riga. This description meant that the whole of the Baltic Sea
Sea
was covered with ice.

It is known that since 1720, the Baltic Sea
Sea
has frozen over entirely a total of 20 times. The most recent case was in early 1987, which was the most severe winter in Scandinavia
Scandinavia
since that date. The ice then covered 400,000 km2 (150,000 sq mi). During the winter of 2010–11, which was quite severe compared to those of the last decades, the maximum ice cover was 315,000 km2 (122,000 sq mi), which was reached on 25 February 2011. The ice then extended from the north down to the northern tip of Gotland
Gotland
, with small ice-free areas on either side, and the east coast of the Baltic Sea
Sea
was covered by an ice sheet about 25 to 100 km (16 to 62 mi) wide all the way to Gdańsk
Gdańsk
. This was brought about by a stagnant high-pressure area that lingered over central and northern Scandinavia
Scandinavia
from around 10 to 24 February. After this, strong southern winds pushed the ice further into the north, and much of the waters north of Gotland
Gotland
were again free of ice, which had then packed against the shores of southern Finland. The effects of the afore-mentioned high-pressure area did not reach the southern parts of the Baltic Sea, and thus the entire sea did not freeze over. However, floating ice was additionally observed near Świnoujście harbour in January 2010.

In recent years prior to 2011, the Bothnian Bay
Bothnian Bay
and the Bothnian Sea were frozen with solid ice near the Baltic coast and dense floating ice far from it. In 2008, there was almost no ice formation except for a short period in March. Piles of drift ice on the shore of Puhtulaid, near Virtsu , Estonia, in late April

During winter, fast ice , which is attached to the shoreline, develops first, rendering ports unusable without the services of icebreakers . Level ice , ice sludge , pancake ice , and rafter ice form in the more open regions. The gleaming expanse of ice is similar to the Arctic
Arctic
, with wind-driven pack ice and ridges up to 15 m (49 ft). Offshore of the landfast ice, the ice remains very dynamic all year, and it is relatively easily moved around by winds and therefore forms pack ice , made up of large piles and ridges pushed against the landfast ice and shores.

In spring, the Gulf of Finland
Finland
and the Gulf of Bothnia normally thaw in late April, with some ice ridges persisting until May in the eastern extremities of the Gulf of Finland. In the northernmost reaches of the Bothnian Bay, ice usually stays until late May; by early June it is practically always gone. However, in the famine year of 1867 remnants of ice were observed as late as July 17 near Uddskär . Even as far south as Øresund , remnants of ice have been observed in May; near Taarbaek in mid-May 1942 and near Copenhagen
Copenhagen
in mid-May 1771.

The ice cover is the main habitat for two large mammals, the grey seal (_Halichoerus grypus_) and the Baltic ringed seal (_Pusa hispida botnica_), both of which feed underneath the ice and breed on its surface. Of these two seals, only the Baltic ringed seal suffers when there is not adequate ice in the Baltic Sea, as it feeds its young only while on ice. The grey seal is adapted to reproducing also with no ice in the sea. The sea ice also harbours several species of algae that live in the bottom and inside unfrozen brine pockets in the ice.

HYDROGRAPHY

Depths of the Baltic Sea
Sea
in metres

The Baltic Sea
Sea
flows out through the Danish straits ; however, the flow is complex. A surface layer of brackish water discharges 940 km3 (230 cu mi) per year into the North Sea
Sea
. Due to the difference in salinity , by salinity permeation principle, a sub-surface layer of more saline water moving in the opposite direction brings in 475 km3 (114 cu mi) per year. It mixes very slowly with the upper waters, resulting in a salinity gradient from top to bottom, with most of the salt water remaining below 40 to 70 m (130 to 230 ft) deep. The general circulation is anti-clockwise: northwards along its eastern boundary, and south along the western one .

The difference between the outflow and the inflow comes entirely from fresh water . More than 250 streams drain a basin of about 1,600,000 km2 (620,000 sq mi), contributing a volume of 660 km3 (160 cu mi) per year to the Baltic. They include the major rivers of north Europe, such as the Oder
Oder
, the Vistula
Vistula
, the Neman , the Daugava and the Neva . Additional fresh water comes from the difference of precipitation less evaporation, which is positive.

An important source of salty water are infrequent inflows of North Sea
Sea
water into the Baltic. Such inflows, important to the Baltic ecosystem because of the oxygen they transport into the Baltic deeps, used to happen on average every four to five years until the 1980s. In recent decades they have become less frequent. The latest four occurred in 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2014 suggesting a new inter-inflow period of about ten years.

The water level is generally far more dependent on the regional wind situation than on tidal effects. However, tidal currents occur in narrow passages in the western parts of the Baltic Sea.

The significant wave height is generally much lower than that of the North Sea
Sea
. Violent and sudden storms often sweep the surface, due to large transient temperature differences and a long reach of wind. Seasonal winds also cause small changes in sea level, of the order of 0.5 m (1 ft 8 in) .

SALINITY

Baltic Sea
Sea
near Klaipėda (Karklė ).

The Baltic Sea's salinity is much lower than that of ocean water (which averages 3.5%), as a result of abundant freshwater runoff from the surrounding land, combined with the shallowness of the sea itself; runoff contributes roughly one-fortieth its total volume per year, as the volume of the basin is about 21,000 km3 (5,000 cu mi) and yearly runoff is about 500 km3 (120 cu mi). The open surface waters of the central basin have salinity of 0.5% to 0.8%, which makes the basin border-line freshwater . Drinking the water as a means of survival would actually hydrate the body instead of dehydrating , as is the case with ocean water. At the semi-enclosed bays with major freshwater inflows, such as the head of Finnish Gulf with the Neva
Neva
mouth and the head of the Bothnian Gulf with the close mouths of the Lule, Tornio and Kemi, the salinity is considerably lower. Below 40 to 70 m (130 to 230 ft), the salinity is between 1.0% and 1.5% in the open Baltic Sea, and higher near the Danish Straits, but this is still less than half that of ocean water.

The flow of fresh water into the sea from approximately two hundred rivers and the introduction of salt from the South builds up a gradient of salinity in the Baltic Sea. Near the Danish straits the salinity is close to that of the Kattegat, but still not fully oceanic, because the saltiest water that passes the straits is already mixed with considerable amounts of outflow water. The salinity steadily decreases towards North and East. At the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia the water is no longer salty and many fresh water species live in the sea. The salinity gradient is paralleled by a temperature gradient. These two factors limit many species of animals and plants to a relatively narrow region of the Baltic Sea.

The most saline water is vertically stratified in the water column to the north , creating a barrier to the exchange of oxygen and nutrients, and fostering completely separate maritime environments.

MAJOR TRIBUTARIES

See also: List of rivers of the Baltic Sea
Sea

The rating of mean discharges differs from the ranking of hydrological lengths (from the most distant source to the sea) and the rating of the nominal lengths. Göta älv
Göta älv
, a tributary of the Kattegat , is not listed, as due to the northward upper low-salinity-flow in the sea, its water hardly reaches the Baltic proper:

NAME Mean Discharge (m3/s) LENGTH (KM) BASIN (KM2) STATES SHARING THE BASIN LONGEST WATERCOURSE

Neva
Neva
2500 74 (nominal) 860 (hydrological) 281,000 Russia
Russia
, Finland
Finland
(Ladoga-affluent Vuoksi ) Suna (280 km) → Lake Onega (160 km) → Svir (224 km) → Lake Ladoga (122 km) → Neva
Neva

Vistula
Vistula
1080 1047 194,424 Poland
Poland
, tributaries: Belarus
Belarus
, Ukraine
Ukraine
, Slovakia
Slovakia

Daugava 678 1020 87,900 Russia
Russia
(source), Latvia
Latvia

Neman 678 937 98,200 Belarus
Belarus
(source), Lithuania
Lithuania
, Russia
Russia

Kemijoki 556 550 (main river) 600 (river system) 51,127 Finland
Finland
, Norway
Norway
(source of Ounasjoki ) longer tributary Kitinen

Oder
Oder
540 866 118,861 Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(source), Poland
Poland
, Germany
Germany

Lule älv 506 461 25,240 Sweden
Sweden

Narva 415 77 (nominal) 652 (hydrological) 56,200 Russia
Russia
(Source of Velikaya), Estonia
Estonia
Velikaya (430 km) → Lake Peipus
Lake Peipus
(145 km) → Narva

Torne älv 388 520 (nominal) 630 (hydrological) 40,131 Norway
Norway
(source), Sweden
Sweden
, Finland
Finland
Válfojohka → Kamajåkka → Abiskojaure → Abiskojokk (total 40 km) → Torneträsk (70 km) → Torne älv

ISLANDS AND ARCHIPELAGOES

Main article: List of islands in the Baltic Sea
Sea
Skerries form an integral and typical part of many of the archipelagos of the Baltic Sea, such as these in the archipelago of the Åland Islands
Åland Islands
, Finland .

* Åland Islands
Åland Islands
( Finland
Finland
, autonomous )

* Archipelago
Archipelago
Sea
Sea
( Finland
Finland
)

* Pargas * Nagu * Korpo * Houtskär * Kustavi
Kustavi
* Kimito

* Blekinge archipelago ( Sweden
Sweden
) * Bornholm
Bornholm
, including Christiansø ( Denmark
Denmark
) * Falster
Falster
( Denmark
Denmark
) * Gotland
Gotland
( Sweden
Sweden
) * Hailuoto ( Finland
Finland
) * Kotlin ( Russia
Russia
) * Lolland ( Denmark
Denmark
) * Kvarken
Kvarken
archipelago, including Valsörarna ( Finland
Finland
) * Møn ( Denmark
Denmark
) * Öland ( Sweden
Sweden
) * Rügen ( Germany
Germany
)

* Stockholm
Stockholm
archipelago ( Sweden
Sweden
)

* Värmdön ( Sweden
Sweden
)

* Usedom or Uznam (split between Germany
Germany
and Poland
Poland
)

* West Estonian archipelago ( Estonia
Estonia
):

* Hiiumaa * Muhu * Saaremaa
Saaremaa
* Vormsi
Vormsi

* Wolin
Wolin
( Poland
Poland
) * Zealand
Zealand
( Denmark
Denmark
)

COASTAL COUNTRIES

_ Vast coastal dunes are characteristic for large parts of the southern shore of the Baltic Sea. Kuršių Nerija National Park in Lithuania
Lithuania
(pictured)_ is a part of the Curonian Spit World Heritage Site . Population density in the Baltic Sea
Sea
catchment area

Countries that border on the sea:

Denmark
Denmark
, Estonia
Estonia
, Finland
Finland
, Germany
Germany
, Latvia
Latvia
, Lithuania
Lithuania
, Poland
Poland
, Russia
Russia
, Sweden
Sweden
.

Countries that are in the drainage basin but do not border on the sea:

Belarus
Belarus
, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
, Norway
Norway
, Slovakia
Slovakia
, Ukraine
Ukraine
.

The Baltic sea drainage basin is roughly four times the surface area of the sea itself. About 48% of the region is forested, with Sweden and Finland
Finland
containing the majority of the forest, especially around the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland.

About 20% of the land is used for agriculture and pasture, mainly in Poland
Poland
and around the edge of the Baltic Proper, in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. About 17% of the basin is unused open land with another 8% of wetlands. Most of the latter are in the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland.

The rest of the land is heavily populated. About 85 million people live in the Baltic drainage basin, 15 million within 10 km (6 mi) of the coast and 29 million within 50 km (31 mi) of the coast. Around 22 million live in population centers of over 250,000. 90% of these are concentrated in the 10 km (6 mi) band around the coast. Of the nations containing all or part of the basin, Poland
Poland
includes 45% of the 85 million, Russia
Russia
12%, Sweden
Sweden
10% and the others less than 6% each. Port of Helsinki
Helsinki
Port of Tallinn
Tallinn
Port of Klaipėda Port of Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad

Cities

Main article: List of cities and towns around the Baltic Sea
Sea

THE BIGGEST COASTAL CITIES (BY POPULATION):

* Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
(Russia) 4,700,000 (metropolitan area 6,000,000) * Stockholm
Stockholm
(Sweden) 843,139 (metropolitan area 2,046,103) * Riga
Riga
(Latvia) 696,567 (metropolitan area 842,000) * Helsinki
Helsinki
(Finland) 605,022 (metropolitan area 1,358,901) * Gdańsk
Gdańsk
(Poland) 462,700 (metropolitan area 1,041,000) * Tallinn
Tallinn
(Estonia) 435,245 (metropolitan area 542,983) * Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad
(Russia) 431,500 * Szczecin
Szczecin
(Poland) 413,600 (metropolitan area 778,000) * Gdynia
Gdynia
(Poland) 255,600 (metropolitan area 1,041,000) * Kiel
Kiel
(Germany) 242,000 * Espoo
Espoo
(Finland) 257,195 (part of Helsinki
Helsinki
metropolitan area) * Lübeck
Lübeck
(Germany) 216,100 * Rostock
Rostock
(Germany) 212,700 * Klaipėda (Lithuania) 194,400 * Oulu
Oulu
(Finland) 191,050 * Turku
Turku
(Finland) 180,350

IMPORTANT PORTS:

_Estonia:_

* Pärnu 44,568 * Maardu 16,570 * Sillamäe 16,567

_Finland:_

* Pori 83,272 * Kotka
Kotka
54,887 * Kokkola 46,809 * Port of Naantali 18,789 * Mariehamn
Mariehamn
11,372 * Hanko
Hanko
9,270

_Germany:_

* Stralsund 58,000 * Greifswald 55,000 * Wismar 44,000 * Eckernförde 22,000 * Neustadt in Holstein 16,000 * Wolgast
Wolgast
12,000 * Sassnitz
Sassnitz
10,000

_Latvia:_

* Liepāja 85,000 * Ventspils 44,000

_Lithuania:_

* Klaipėda 194,000 * Palanga 15,000

_Poland:_

* Kołobrzeg 44,800 * Świnoujście 41,500 * Police 34,284 * Władysławowo
Władysławowo
15,000 * Darłowo 14,000

_Russia:_

* Vyborg 79,962 * Baltiysk
Baltiysk
34,000

_Sweden:_

* Norrköping 84,000 * Gävle 69,000 * Trelleborg
Trelleborg
26,000 * Karlshamn 19,000 * Oxelösund 11,000

GEOLOGY

Main article: Geology
Geology
of the Baltic Sea
Sea
Ancylus Lake around 8700 years BP . The relic of Scandinavian Glacier in white. The rivers Svea älv (Svea river) and Göta älv
Göta älv
formed an outlet to the Atlantic . Much of modern Finland
Finland
is former seabed or archipelago: illustrated are sea levels immediately after the last ice age.

EVOLUTION OF THE BALTIC SEA

PLEISTOCENE

Eemian Sea
Sea
(130,000–115,000 BP ) Ice sheets and seas (115,000–12,600 BP)

HOLOCENE

Baltic Ice Lake (12,600–10,300 BP) Yoldia Sea
Sea
(10,300–9,500 BP) Ancylus Lake (9,500–8,000 BP) Mastogloia Sea
Sea
(8,000–7,500 BP) Littorina Sea
Sea
(7,500–4,000 BP) Modern Baltic Sea
Sea
(4,000 BP–present)

* v * t * e

The Baltic Sea
Sea
somewhat resembles a riverbed , with two tributaries, the Gulf of Finland
Finland
and Gulf of Bothnia . Geological surveys show that before the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
, instead of the Baltic Sea, there was a wide plain around a great river paleontologists call the Eridanos . Several Pleistocene
Pleistocene
glacial episodes scooped out the river bed into the sea basin. By the time of the last, or Eemian Stage (MIS 5e), the Eemian Sea
Sea
was in place. Instead of a true sea, the Baltic can even today also be understood as the common estuary of all rivers flowing into it.

From that time the waters underwent a geologic history summarized under the names listed below. Many of the stages are named after marine animals (e.g. the Littorina mollusk ) that are clear markers of changing water temperatures and salinity.

The factors that determined the sea's characteristics were the submergence or emergence of the region due to the weight of ice and subsequent isostatic readjustment, and the connecting channels it found to the North Sea
Sea
-Atlantic , either through the straits of Denmark
Denmark
or at what are now the large lakes of Sweden
Sweden
, and the White Sea
Sea
- Arctic
Arctic
Sea
Sea
.

* Eemian Sea
Sea
, 130,000–115,000 (years ago ) * Baltic Ice Lake , 12,600–10,300 * Yoldia Sea
Sea
, 10,300–9500 * Ancylus Lake , 9,500–8,000 * Mastogloia Sea
Sea
8,000–7,500 * Littorina Sea
Sea
, 7,500–4,000 * Post- Littorina Sea
Sea
4,000–present

The land is still emerging isostatically from its depressed state, which was caused by the weight of ice during the last glaciation. The phenomenon is known as post-glacial rebound . Consequently, the surface area and the depth of the sea are diminishing. The uplift is about eight millimetres per year on the Finnish coast of the northernmost Gulf of Bothnia. In the area, the former seabed is only gently sloping, leading to large areas of land being reclaimed in what are, geologically speaking, relatively short periods (decades and centuries).

ANOMALOUS OBJECT/FORMATION

_ This section MAY PRESENT FRINGE THEORIES , WITHOUT GIVING APPROPRIATE WEIGHT TO THE MAINSTREAM VIEW, and explaining the responses to the fringe theories. Please help improve it or discuss the issue on the talk page . (September 2016)_ _(Learn how and when to remove this template message )_

The Baltic Sea
Sea
anomaly is a 60-metre (200 ft) diameter circular rock-like formation on the floor of the northern Baltic Sea
Sea
at the center of the Bothnian Sea
Sea
, discovered by Peter Lindberg, Dennis Åsberg and their Swedish " Ocean
Ocean
X" diving team in June 2011. The team reported that the formation rests on a pillar and includes a structure similar in appearance to a staircase, leading to a dark hole.

According to Ocean
Ocean
X, the formation has an appearance of "rough granite", is round, 3 to 4 metres (9.8 to 13.1 ft) thick and approximately 60 metres (200 ft) in diameter, stands on an 8-metre-tall (26 ft) pillar-like feature, and is located at a depth of 85 to 90 metres (279 to 295 ft). There is also another smaller object not far away. The object is at the end of what resembles a 300-metre (980 ft) "runway".

The Ocean
Ocean
X team has published one additional close-up sonar scan on their Web site and nine additional close-up sonar scans on their YouTube page that appear to show a 90-degree angle and other features of the object.

On their second expedition, they reported that they found something that looks like a staircase and a round black hole that goes directly into the structure.

BIOLOGY

FAUNA

See also: List of fish in Sweden
Sweden

The fauna of the Baltic sea is a mixture of marine and freshwater species. Among marine fishes are cod , herring, hake , plaice , flounder , shorthorn sculpin , stickleback and turbot , and examples of freshwater species include perch , pike , whitefish and roach .

There is a decrease in faunal species from the Belts to the Gulf of Bothnia . The decreasing salinity along this path causes restrictions in both physiology and habitats. The lack of tides has affected the marine species as compared with the Atlantic.

Since the Baltic Sea
Sea
is so young there are only a few endemic species. The mostly asexually reproducing brown alga _ Fucus radicans _ seems to have evolved in the basin. Another endemic is the Copenhagen cockle _parvicardium hauniense_. However, several marine species have populations in the Baltic Sea
Sea
adapted to the low salinity, such as the Baltic Sea
Sea
herring which is smaller than the Atlantic herring .

A peculiar feature of the fauna is that it contains a number of glacial relict species , isolated populations of arctic species which have remained in the Baltic Sea
Sea
since the last glaciation , such as the large isopod _ Saduria entomon
Saduria entomon
_, the Baltic subspecies of ringed seal , and the fourhorn sculpin . Some of these relicts are derived from glacial lakes , such as _ Monoporeia affinis _, which is a main element in the benthic fauna of the low-salinity Bothnian Bay
Bothnian Bay
.

Cetaceans in Baltic Sea
Sea
have been monitored by the ASCOBANS . Critically endangered populations of Atlantic white-sided dolphins and harbor porpoises inhabit the sea where white-colored porpoises have been recorded, and occasionally oceanic and out-of-range species such as minke whales , bottlenose dolphins , beluga whales , orcas , and beaked whales visit the waters. In recent years, very small, but with increasing rates, fin whales and humpback whales migrate into Baltic sea including mother and calf pair. Now extinct Atlantic grey whales and eastern population of North Atlantic right whales that is facing functional extinction once migrated into Baltic Sea.

Strandings of Leatherback turtles have been recorded in Baltic Sea, too. Other notable megafauna include the basking sharks .

ENVIRONMENTAL STATUS

Further information: Baltic Sea
Sea
hypoxia Phytoplankton algal bloom in the Baltic Proper, July 2001

Satellite images taken in July 2010 revealed a massive algal bloom covering 377,000 square kilometres (146,000 sq mi) in the Baltic Sea. The area of the bloom extended from Germany
Germany
and Poland
Poland
to Finland. Researchers of the phenomenon have indicated that algal blooms have occurred every summer for decades. Fertilizer runoff from surrounding agricultural land has exacerbated the problem and led to increased eutrophication .

Approximately 100,000 km2 (38,610 sq mi) of the Baltic's seafloor (a quarter of its total area) is a variable dead zone . The more saline (and therefore denser) water remains on the bottom, isolating it from surface waters and the atmosphere. This leads to decreased oxygen concentrations within the zone. It is mainly bacteria that grow in it, digesting organic material and releasing hydrogen sulfide. Because of this large anaerobic zone, the seafloor ecology differs from that of the neighbouring Atlantic.

Plans to artificially oxygenate areas of the Baltic that have experienced eutrophication have been proposed by the University of Gothenburg and Inocean AB. The proposal intends to use wind-driven pumps to inject oxygen (air) into waters at, or around, 130m below sea level.

ECONOMY

See also: Baltic Sea
Sea
cruiseferries and Ports of the Baltic Sea
Sea
Pedestrian pier at Palanga , the most popular sea resort in Lithuania
Lithuania

Construction of the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark
Denmark
(completed 1997) and the Øresund Bridge -Tunnel (completed 1999), linking Denmark
Denmark
with Sweden, provided a highway and railroad connection between Sweden
Sweden
and the Danish mainland (the Jutland Peninsula , precisely the Zealand
Zealand
). The undersea tunnel of the Øresund Bridge-Tunnel provides for navigation of large ships into and out of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea
Sea
is the main trade route for export of Russian petroleum. Many of the countries neighboring the Baltic Sea
Sea
have been concerned about this, since a major oil leak in a seagoing tanker would be disastrous for the Baltic—given the slow exchange of water. The tourism industry surrounding the Baltic Sea
Sea
is naturally concerned about oil pollution .

Much shipbuilding is carried out in the shipyards around the Baltic Sea. The largest shipyards are at Gdańsk
Gdańsk
, Gdynia
Gdynia
, and Szczecin
Szczecin
, Poland; Kiel
Kiel
, Germany; Karlskrona and Malmö , Sweden; Rauma , Turku , and Helsinki
Helsinki
, Finland; Riga
Riga
, Ventspils , and Liepāja , Latvia; Klaipėda , Lithuania; and Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
, Russia.

There are several cargo and passenger ferries that operate on the Baltic Sea, such as Scandlines , Silja Line , Polferries
Polferries
, the Viking Line , Tallink , and Superfast Ferries .

TOURISM

PIERS

* Ahlbeck (Usedom) , Germany
Germany
* Heiligendamm
Heiligendamm
, Germany
Germany
* Liepaja , Latvia
Latvia
* Klaipėda , Lithuania
Lithuania
* Gdynia
Gdynia
, Poland
Poland
* Kołobrzeg , Poland
Poland
* Międzyzdroje , Poland
Poland
* Sopot
Sopot
, Poland
Poland

RESORT TOWNS

* Pärnu , Estonia
Estonia
* Hanko
Hanko
, Finland
Finland
* Mariehamn
Mariehamn
, Finland
Finland
* Ueckermünde , Germany
Germany
* Travemünde , Germany
Germany
* Jūrmala , Latvia
Latvia
* Nida , Lithuania
Lithuania
* Palanga , Lithuania
Lithuania
* Kamień Pomorski , Poland
Poland
* Kołobrzeg , Poland
Poland
* Sopot
Sopot
, Poland
Poland
* Świnoujście , Poland
Poland
* Ustka , Poland
Poland
* Svetlogorsk , Russia
Russia

THE HELSINKI CONVENTION

1974 CONVENTION

For the first time ever, all the sources of pollution around an entire sea were made subject to a single convention, signed in 1974 by the then seven Baltic coastal states. The 1974 Convention entered into force on 3 May 1980.

1992 CONVENTION

Main article: Helsinki
Helsinki
Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea
Sea
Area

In the light of political changes and developments in international environmental and maritime law, a new convention was signed in 1992 by all the states bordering on the Baltic Sea, and the European Community. After ratification the Convention entered into force on 17 January 2000. The Convention covers the whole of the Baltic Sea
Sea
area, including inland waters and the water of the sea itself, as well as the seabed. Measures are also taken in the whole catchment area of the Baltic Sea
Sea
to reduce land-based pollution. The Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea
Sea
Area, 1992, entered into force on 17 January 2000.

The governing body of the Convention is the Helsinki
Helsinki
Commission , also known as HELCOM, or Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission. The present contracting parties are Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia
Russia
and Sweden.

The ratification instruments were deposited by the European Community, Germany, Latvia
Latvia
and Sweden
Sweden
in 1994, by Estonia
Estonia
and Finland in 1995, by Denmark
Denmark
in 1996, by Lithuania
Lithuania
in 1997 and by Poland
Poland
and Russia
Russia
in November 1999.

SEE ALSO

* Baltic (other) * Baltic region * Baltic Sea
Sea
Action Group (BSAG) * Baltic states * SS Cap Arcona * Council of the Baltic Sea
Sea
States * MS Estonia
Estonia

* Nord Stream * Northern Europe
Europe
* Ports of the Baltic Sea
Sea
* Scandinavia
Scandinavia
* MV Wilhelm Gustloff * List of cities and towns around the Baltic Sea
Sea
* List of rivers of the Baltic Sea
Sea

REFERENCES

NOTES

* ^ "Coalition Clean Baltic". Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. * ^ Oceanographic data * ^ Text of Helsinki
Helsinki
Convention * ^ Pierers Universal-Lexikon, (a German encyclopedia from 1857–1865, automatic transcription of little quality): Sundzoll ( Sound Dues ) * ^ Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde: "Gehört das Kattegatt noch zur Ostsee" (Is the Kattegat a part of the Baltic Sea?) * ^ Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI): The BaltSens Project – The sensitivity of the Baltic Sea
Sea
ecosystems to hazardous compounds * ^ Tacitus
Tacitus
, Germania (book) : _Ergo iam dextro Suebici maris litore Aestiorum gentes adluuntur, quibus ritus habitusque Sueborum, lingua Britannicae propior._ – _Upon the right of the Suevian Sea the AEstyan nations reside, who use the same customs and attire with the Suevians; their language more resembles that of Britain._ * ^ Ptolemy, Geography III, chapter 5: _Sarmatia in Europe
Europe
is bounded on the north by the Sarmatian ocean at the Venedic gulf_ (...) * ^ (in Swedish) Balteus in _ Nordisk familjebok _. * ^ Forbes, Nevill (1910). _The Position of the Slavonic Languages at the present day_. Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
. p. 7. * ^ Dini, Pietro Umberto (1997). _Le lingue baltiche_ (in Italian). Florence: La Nuova Italia. ISBN 978-88-221-2803-4 . * ^ Hartmann Schedel 1493 map File:Schedelsche Weltchronik d 287.jpg : Baltic Sea
Sea
called Mare Germanicum, North Sea
Sea
called Oceanus Germanicus * ^ "The History of Russian Amber, Part 1: The Beginning", Ambery.net * ^ Wend – West Wend. Britannica.com. Retrieved on 23 June 2011. * ^ Chemical Weapon Time Bomb Ticks in the Baltic Sea
Sea
_Deutsche Welle_, 1 February 2008. * ^ Activities 2006: Overview Archived 14 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine . Baltic Sea
Sea
Environment Proceedings No. 112. Helsinki Commission . * ^ Sztobryn, Marzenna; Stigge, Hans-Joachim; Wielbińska, Danuta; Weidig, Bärbel; Stanisławczyk, Ida; Kańska, Alicja; Krzysztofik, Katarzyna; Kowalska, Beata; Letkiewicz, Beata; Mykita, Monika (2005). "Sturmfluten in der südlichen Ostsee (Westlicher und mittlerer Teil)" (PDF). _Berichte des Bundesamtes für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie_ (in German) (39): 6. * ^ "Sturmfluten an der Ostseeküste – eine vergessene Gefahr?" . _Informations-, Lern-, und Lehrmodule zu den Themen Küste, Meer und Integriertes Küstenzonenmanagement_. EUCC Die Küsten Union Deutschland e. V. Retrieved 2 July 2012. Citing Weiss, D. "Schutz der Ostseeküste von Mecklenburg-Vorpommern". In Kramer, J.; Rohde, H. _Historischer Küstenschutz: Deichbau, Inselschutz und Binnenentwässerung an Nord- und Ostsee_ (in German). Stuttgart: Wittwer. pp. 536–567. * ^ Tiesel, Reiner (October 2003). "Sturmfluten an der deutschen Ostseeküste" . _Informations-, Lern-, und Lehrmodule zu den Themen Küste, Meer und Integriertes Küstenzonenmanagement_ (in German). EUCC Die Küsten Union Deutschland e. V. Retrieved 2 July 2012. * ^ "Baltic Sea
Sea
- New World Encyclopedia". _www.newworldencyclopedia.org_. Retrieved 2017-06-18. * ^ "EuroOcean". Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014. * ^ "Geography of the Baltic Sea
Sea
Area". Archived from the original on 21 April 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2005. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link ) at envir.ee. (archived) (2006-04-21). Retrieved on 23 June 2011. * ^ p. 7 * ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2010. * ^ Baltic Sea
Sea
area clickable map * ^ _ Helsingin Sanomat
Helsingin Sanomat
_, 16 February 2011, p. A8. * ^ Derham, William _Physico-Theology: Or, A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God from His Works of Creation_ (London, 1713). * ^ _ Helsingin Sanomat
Helsingin Sanomat
_, 10 February 2011, p. A4; 25 February 2011, p. A5; 11 June 2011, p. A12. * ^ Sea
Sea
Ice Survey Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin. * ^ "Nödåret 1867". Byar i Luleå. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. * ^ "Isvintrene i 40\'erne". TV 2. * ^ http://natmus.dk/historisk-viden/temaer/militaerhistorie/soeofficeren-peter-schioennings-liv/kilder/peter-schioennings-dagbog/1771/ * ^ _A_ _B_ Alhonen, p. 88 * ^ "The Baltic Sea: Its Past, Present and Future" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2007. (352 KB), Jan Thulin and Andris Andrushaitis, Religion, Science and the Environment Symposium V on the Baltic Sea
Sea
(2003). * ^ Statistische Kurzinformation (in German). Landeshauptstadt Kiel. Amt für Kommunikation, Standortmarketing und Wirtschaftsfragen Abteilung Statistik. Retrieved on 11 October 2012. * ^ oceanexplorer.se: 2012-07-09 * ^ Danish: 16. juli 2012, videnskab.dk: Nye billeder: Ukendt objekt i Østersøen er ren X-files Quote: "...Objektet er som først antaget 60 meter langt og nøjagtig lige så bredt..." * ^ Swedish: 15 jun 2012, expressen.se: Så ser den mystiska cirkeln ut på nära håll * ^ oceanexplorer.se: 2012-06-15 * ^ Danish: Bygbjerg, Søren (17 Jun 2012). "SE NYE MYSTISKE BILLEDER: Ligger der en UFO på havets bund?". DR Nyheder (BBC News). Retrieved 13 September 2012. * ^ http://www.oceanexplorer.se/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/456_90D.jpg * ^ Asberg, Dennis. "Pictures from the object in the Baltic sea". Retrieved 13 September 2012. * ^ Swedish: 12 Aug 2012, expressen.se: Trappa senaste fyndet vid mystiska cirkeln * ^ Lockwood, A. P. M.; Sheader, M.; Williams, J. A. (1998). "Life in Estuaries, Salt
Salt
Marshes, Lagoons and Coastal Waters". In Summerhayes, C. P.; Thorpe, S. A. _Oceanography: An Illustrated Guide_ (2nd ed.). London: Manson Publishing. p. 246. ISBN 1-874545-37-5 . * ^ White harbour porpoise sighting in Baltic Sea
Sea
- WDC * ^ Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) - MarLIN, The Marine Life Information Network * ^ Baltic dolphin sightings confirmed - National * ^ About the beluga - Russian Geographical Society * ^ Orcinus orca (Killer Whale, Orca) * ^ Rare Sowerby\'s beaked whale spotted in the Baltic Sea
Sea
- WDC * ^ Wieder Finnwal in der Ostsee * ^ Finnwal in der Ostsee gesichtet * ^ Angler filmt Wal in Ostsee-Bucht * ^ Whales seen again in the waters of the Baltic Sea
Sea
News Science & Scholarship in Poland * ^ North Atlantic Right Whale Species Guide - WDC * ^ Regional Species Extinctions - Examples of regional species extinctions over the last 1000 years and more. * ^ Rare Animals Are Mysteriously Turning Up in Denmark
Denmark
Mysterious Universe * ^ http://deski.fi/download.php?file_name=BlnrYjTbXR.pdf. * ^ "Satellite spies vast algal bloom in Baltic Sea". _BBC News_. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010. * ^ "Oxygenation at a Depth of 120 Meters Could Save the Baltic Sea, Researchers Demonstrate". Science Daily. * ^ Helcom : Welcome Archived 6 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine .. Helcom.fi. Retrieved on 23 June 2011.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Alhonen, Pentti (1966). "Baltic Sea". In Fairbridge, Rhodes. _The Encyclopedia of Oceanography_. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. pp. 87–91.

FURTHER READING

* Aarno Voipio (ed., 1981): "The Baltic Sea." Elsevier Oceanography Series, vol. 30, Elsevier Scientific Publishing, 418 p, ISBN 0-444-41884-9 * Ojaveer, H.; Jaanus, A.; MacKenzie, B. R.; Martin, G.; Olenin, S.; et al. (2010). "Status of Biodiversity in the Baltic Sea". _PLoS ONE _. 5 (9): e12467. doi :10.1371/journal.pone.0012467 . * Peter, Bruce (2009). _Baltic Ferries_. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781906608057 . * The BACC II Author Team, , et.al (2015). _Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea
Sea
Basin_. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-16006-1 . doi :10.1007/978-3-319-16006-1 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to BALTIC SEA _.

_ Wikisource has the text of the 1879 American Cyclopædia _ article _BALTIC SEA _.

_ Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica_ article _BALTIC SEA _.

* The Baltic Sea, Kattegat and Skagerak – sea areas and drainig basins, poster with integral information by the Swedish Meteorological and

.