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Baltic Vikings are not Baltic- connection between the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic ocean

research by Syntia

The Old Man and the Sea

Today I’m a registered member of the Baltic Sea Nature & Heritage Protection Association! I discovered them during the boot Düsseldor fair where they took part in initiative “_love your ocean_“. I believe that being a member with responsible actions will bring me good expertise in illegal lay net removal and cold water diving. I’ve been living on the Baltic Coast for nearly 20 years but never been as close.

The Baltic Sea separating Sweden and Finland from the Baltics states was a highway of trade and still is for nations and people who live on the shores. Vikings couldn’t have reached the modern Russian territory without passing through the Baltic shores. The land near Estonia and Finland was sparsely populated by Baltic Finns.

“Baltic Vikings” is not actually Baltic either

Baltic Finnic- the people from the territories of modern Finland and Estonia, as well as the northwestern part of Russia, and a great part of Latvia. “Baltic” peoples, on the other hand, are ethnic Balts, inhabitants of what is now Latvia and Lithuania. To Marika Mägi, Vikings are not an ethnicity. It refers to more like a profession or an activity where one would go on a crusade as a Viking. 

Coastal warriors, who lived in modern Estonia, Finland and Latvia were also Vikings, and both archeological as well as written sources prove it.

The Viking influence reached the Baltic Finnic coastline in around the 8th century. The warriors adapted to Scandinavian culture up to a point where it was almost impossible to distinguish them: the jewelry, weapons, ships, settlements, harbors… Mägi compares Vikings to the knights who, despite the location, shared the same values and code of ethics- a cultural blending. Ethnicity didn’t play a role as much as the warrior’s social status.

Viking Age spheres depicted in sagas. Credit: Marika Mägi

Reference: In Austrvegr: The Role of the Eastern Baltic in Viking Age Communication Across the Baltic Sea (The Northern World, 84) | Mägi, Marika | ISBN: 9789004216655

Baltic Sea today creates identity, provides food, offers travel destinations, and brings employment opportunities for as many as 85 million people. The Baltic Sea coast in Latvia is in total 500 kilometers long from Lithuanian to Estonian border. Along the capital of Riga and Jurmala it has been one of my favorite hideouts in summer. The Baltic sea coast stretches into a landscape of dunes, steep banks, sandstone outcrops, rocks and caves.

The Baltic region is home to the largest known deposit of amber since pre-historic times. It is fossilised deformed resin of ancient conifers tree, and preserves the remains of extinct species of plants and small vertebrates.

Ironically, Great Amber is the name of the new concert hall and a landmark for Liepaja city, Latvia. Multi-faceted jewel that symbolizes the beauty and uniqueness of music creation was designed by the Austrian architect Volker Giencke. With 1024 seats it is the largest concert hall in the Baltic States. The construction was decided in 1896 and built hundred years later in 2015.

Volker Giencke also developed the acoustic concept together with Karlheinz Müller and Christian Bartenbach; as a result of best possible acoustics for classical concerts, the sound reaches higher than the house in this oval, terraced vineyard. Fourteen mirrors act as reflective tubes to direct daylight into the concert hall, creating a unique design.

On May 14, 2022, the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra closed its 141st season with an concert in the concert hall “Lielais dzintars”

The only connection between the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic ocean leads through the narrow waterways Kattegat and Skagerrak between Denmark and Sweden, therefore the level of salinity is low and unequally distributed.

Baltic Sea is marked by a greenish water color spectrum with slightly turbid conditions in most areas. Organic materials further produce a high density of plankton containing chlorophyll, giving the perception of a greenish hue.

Whilst plankton itself is known as the base of marine life and the green water indeed signals vitality, but also is a sign of eutrophication and pollution. The Baltic Sea suffers immensely from excessive nutrient enrichment. Over-fertilization, the accompanying growth of algae and the lack of oxygen have already led to the creation of dead-zones on the seafloor.

The replenishing water exchange with the North Sea, that provides salinity and an increased oxygen supply, takes around 30 years.

For a long period, the wild salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea were under a lot of pressure, and the Baltics were on the fringe of extinction in some rivers. For instance, in the Vindel River in Sweden, in the year 1986, 302 salmon were registered in the fish counter – today it’s annually around 10 000. Due to strict regulations in the Baltic Sea, more habitats start to re-colonize.

Unless marine regulations are established and controlled regionally, observing the effects resulting from global warming, such as acidification and temperature increase will continue having a lasting impact on loss of biodiversity.

Biodiversity extinction is a decline in the number of varieties of species, and the biological communities in a given area. This loss in the variety of life can lead to a breakdown in the functioning of the entire ecosystem.

Donat Petricioli, director of DIIV marine. Lecture-Ecology in submerged adriatic caves and marine lakes

An example of identified areas with high individual densities of the pen shell, Fan Mussel or “Pinna”, a large shellfish, in two areas along the Croatian Adriatic coast, is now affected by a mass mortality event (MME) with 36% to 100% mortality of this bivalve species was first observed in the surveyed Croatian bays in 2019 and continue decline.

Manufacturing processes and industry of production in watersports are closer to reduce the impact on noise pollution, anchor fall and disturbance, waste from the sailing and reducing operational costs. The annual boat and water sports fair boot Düsseldorf kicked off the international boat show season in 2023 with an enormous cruiser lineup and more sustainable electric boat market.

Innovations in Sustainable Boat Building

Follow the innovation prioritizing the material, fuel consumption and design sustainability to reduce the environmental impact of sailing has been the top priority in latest boat building industry.

At sea, as on land, waste and polluting substances can have harmful effects on the life or development of numerous species, including humans. While enjoying your sailboat or powerboat, whether at port, cruising or at anchor, you can adopt the best practices to limit the environmental impact. Reference from Jeanneau .

Fuel consumption

The advanced studies on the shapes of the hull, ensure low fuel consumption, resulting in excellent range and reduced CO2 emissions. One example, the 48 Open at a cruising speed of 26 knots only needs 4.8 litres per mile.

Typical of all Sunseeker hulls is the renowned deep-V hull design that qualifies in better agility, handling and precision.

Candela’s C-8, C-POD engine is one among many new advancements designed for a longer lifetime because of the direct-drive electric pod motors and computer guided hydrofoils. Powered by Polestar 2 Standard range Single motor provide a range of up to 57 nautical miles on one charge that is a range two to three times longer than conventional electric speed boats. Once flying, the boat is balanced in real time by its flight controller, and computer that accounts for side winds, different loads, and waves. It also enables the boat to use 80% less energy than comparable boats at high speeds.


Carbon fibre is a lightweight yet extremely durable material and can be used extensively in the yacht structure, in hardtop sunroofs, and even more decorative features such as air intake cowlings and glazed handrails. Structures made from Carbon Fibre can lower the weight and overall centre of gravity of the craft. DIAB FOAM is used extensively within the structural build of a Sunseeker. Its low-weight, flexible properties maximises yacht performance, increasing speed and reducing fuel consumption.

On-board water filtration systems, specially designed to cleanse and rid water of any bacteria, such as Bilge water filters ensure that no harmful substances like oil, chemicals and micro-plastics escape into the seas or waterways.

Prioritizing Sustainable Actions

The initiatives commissioning the circular economy projects over the course of a long-term partnership to reduce carbon emissions, and a single-use plastic on the production line, i.e. using wood off-cuts as a result of production that would otherwise end up in landfill to heat the factories. Awards with environmental accreditation from trusted parties such as ISOQAR, emphasizing the brand’s commitment to environmental protection, pollution prevention and improving environmental performance.

“To protect not just our environment but the people who live in it, the communities who depend on it, the businesses who profit from it and the ecosystems which rely on it!” Central to the ideals of connecting the public with their surroundings and encouraging them to learn more about their environment, such as permanent display of information relevant to the site in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems and environment.

The Blue Flag award

The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable tourism boats. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. Through close collaboration with their members on any and all issues they may have, the Foundation for Environmental Education works tirelessly to ensure the program’s expansion, and that the unrivaled standards of the Blue Flag are maintained internationally.

Every individual boat owner can make particular efforts towards a better environment. Similar as Blue Boat Certification that allows to develop Whale Watching activities legally, based on a Blue Flag for private Boat owners’ Environmental Code of Conduct- you will receive a Blue Flag for your boat to show that you respect those rules, and that you are a proud of our oceans and coastline.

In Berlin forderten 270.000 Demonstranten ein stärkeres Engagement für den Klimaschutz. Der Klimastreik von „Fridays for Future“ am Freitag, 20.9.2019 war eine globale Massenbewegung.

Preserving Baltic Sea from Debris and Ghost-nets entangling in Reefs and Wrecks

The Baltic Sea Heritage Rescue Project is the BSNHPA eV registered association in which people from many countries volunteer to protect the Baltic Sea above and below the water.

This is one of the few associations who run sea cleaning activities throughout the year and is open to the public. The Baltic Sea Heritage Rescue Project started in Lithuania and works closely with universities, ministries and archaeologists as well as museums and diving centers. 

Baltic Sea Heritage Rescue Project 2022 auf Rügen

As part of World Ocean Day 2023, some actions will be carried out in Kiel, as well as various expeditions include finding and removing lost ghost nets from ship wrecks a.k.a. “Flying Dutchman”. The wreck lies off the island of Rügen, island in the Baltic Sea.

The association is now also active in German waters- the first expedition in Rügen started in 2021 with the support of the Baltic Sea Explorer and the local diving center PRORA, the diving group from Greenpeace Germany and the GRD were able to free half of the wreck from the nets. As is so often the case, the beauty of the wreck, previously hidden by nets, is slowly becoming apparent. However, before documenting and identifying wrecks, the remaining nets must be removed.

Prerequisite for the expeditions is membership in the association and diving experience of at least 100 dives of which 25 dives must be cold water dives deeper than 25m. Registration on website www.bsnhpa.org.