Site details

BAY OF PUCK, SOUTHERN BALTIC
(lookup in gazetteer)
Flag of Poland
Poland
Conservation
status
3 stars - Protections status intended and preparatory planning imminent
LTBR Focal Site



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The steep shores of Bay at Oslonino. Photo: S Andrulewicz

Synoptic description of site:

One of the few embayments along the southern Baltic coast, shallow sand bottom vegetated with seagrass, highest number of brackish, marine and freshwater species recorded for the whole region.

Extensive description of site:

Bay of Puck is an inner basin of the Bay of Gdansk, one of the few embayments on the southern coast of the Baltic sea. It covers an area of approximately 40.000 ha. Its inner part is a shallow, sandy seagrass bed. It is microtidal, salinity ranging from 3 to 6 PSU, and it is representative of a large region of the southern Baltic.

Habitats present:
 MudSandRock
Littoral XX
SublittoralXXX
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

The exposed character of southern Baltic sea coast makes rare embayments centres of local biodiversity. Extensive Zostera marina and Mytilus edulis trossulus beds are the structuring elements for the diversity of life in the Bay. Regular marine biological research has been going on sine the 1920s. From the potential pool of some 500 macroscopic species of the Baltic, at least 170 have been noted in the Bay of Puck.

Pristiness: Moderate

Justification:

Southern Baltic belongs to very polluted and anthropogenicaly changed marine areas, combined with brackish character of the sea and poorly developed coastline makes the Southern Baltic low in biodiversity. Coastal lagoons and bays are few exceptions from this rule, and Bay of Puck represents a relatively pristine example.

Human impact:

The major harbour and tourist city of Gdynia is located in the Bay, and the area is eutrophicated to a level typical for this whole region of the Baltic. There is active artisanal net and trap fishing. No dredging or waste disposal is allowed within the Bay.

Facilities:

The appropriate laboratory and seagoing infrastructure for biodiversity research is available at the University of Gdansk Marine Research Station at Hel, the Institute of Oceanology in Sopot, the Sea Fisheries Institute in Gdynia and Institute of Oceanography in Gdynia.

Available database and website:

Records of marine species occurrence are stored at the Sea Fishery Institute in Gdynia and the Institute of Ocenography University of Gdansk. Website (operational in December 2002): www.iopan.gda.pl .

Datasets covering this area:

Links:

Commitment and ongoing research:

The Bay is the major focus for the Polish National Marine Research Programme for biodiversity. A number of marine scientists from Consortium of Polish Marine Research Institutes spend a significant proportion of their time on the biodiversity related research there, and in addition there are numerous European scientists also undertaking marine biological work in the area. The Consortium of Polish Marine Research Institutes has an agreed science plan and specifically allocated budget for biodiversity work. Most of the current marine research and education at University of Gdansk is focused on the Bay.

Involvements: