Alg@line  ferrybox

SYKE Alg@line network in the Baltic Sea monitors the state of the sea and detects algal blooms. Several millions of data points are collected annually from the Baltic Sea, using a fleet of ferries operated by shipping companies.

Ferries are equipped with flow-through systems (usually called 'Ferryboxes') with spatial measurement resolution of about 200 m. The data recording has the geo-reference logging from GPS. Ferryboxes incorporate a thermosalinograph, chlorohyll, phycocyanin and CDOM fluorometers, turbidity meter and refrigerated sampling unit providing discrete water samples for laboratory analyses (e.g. microscopy, FlowCAM, nutrients, optical analysis, and experimental work).

Additional flow-through sensors e.g. for primary production (FRRF) and light reflectance are used periodically. New sensors for pH and pCO2 were implemented in 2018. One of the Algaline routes (Helsinki-Stockholm) passes approximately 10 km south of the Atmospheric and Marine Research Station Utö.

FINNMAID: Helsinki - Lübeck /Travemünde
SILJA SERENADE: Helsinki - Stockholm

Currently 2 ferryboxes are operated by SYKE Marine Research Center, partly in collaboration with Finnish and international parties:

  • FINNMAID (Finnlines) cruising between Helsinki-Travemünde twice a week (Partner: IOW, Germany)
  • SILJA SERENADE (Tallink) is cruising between Helsinki and Stockholm daily (Partners: City of Helsinki, Finland; Uusimaa Ely Centre, Finland)



Head of Unit Jukka Seppälä
Syke, Research Infrastructure

This project has received funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreements No 871153 and 951799. Project coordinator: IFREMER, France. The information and views of this website lie entirely with the authors. The  European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.