The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) is the national environmental research and development center dealing with changes in the environment, cause and effect relationships, means of resolving environmental problems and effects of policy measures. SYKE is also the national environmental information center providing expert services and handling of national and international statutory tasks. The tasks of SYKE include monitoring and assessment of the state of the environment, the water system of the Baltic Sea, pollution loading, land use changes and water resources. SYKE provides information and solutions to support the protection and sustainable use of the Baltic Sea, water systems, and water resources. SYKE invests strongly in this multidisciplinary research: roughly a third of SYKE’s researchers and specialists work on this theme. In total, SYKE employs about 600 people, nearly 500 of which are university educated scientists and experts. SYKE has extensive national databases on water quality, such as Alg@base, a dedicated database for Alg@line measurements.
SYKE coordinates Alg@line that is a network for biological and physiochemical water quality observations. An overview of the transects covered in the year 2017 by the current fleet of Alg@line ferries are: m/s Finnmaid Helsinki – Travemünde; m/s Silja Serenade Helsinki – Stockholm; Transpaper Kemi- Travemünde (in cooperation with SMHI).The ships in the Alg@line fleet measure fluorescence from targeted phytoplankton pigments (Chl-a and phycocyanin, the latter only in summer), turbidity, salinity, and temperature. Water samples are gathered on return transects and are typically analyzed for inorganic nutrients, and analytical measurement of Chl-a.