Hel Marine Station was established in
1992 and is a field station in the organizational structure of the Institute
of Oceanography in the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography at the
University of Gdańsk. As the only station of its kind in Poland it is open
to the research needs of the whole scientific community of the country and
provides field support for all research groups working in this region (academic
teams from various higher schools, institutes in this line of work and the
Polish Academy of Sciences). In accordance with the nature of natural
history research, the station is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The Hel Marine Station of the
UG Institute of Oceanography.
location of the station in the central point of the Gulf of Gdańsk creates
the possibility of undertaking research on the open sea and in the coastal
zone. This allows the tracing of the regional physical, chemical, biological
and geological processes in the contact zone between the water, the sea-bed,
the land and the atmosphere as well as the phenomena occurring in the depths
of the sea. In creating the Hel Marine Station the main idea was to meet the
research needs that had arisen as a result of the anthropogenic process
which results in the degradation of the natural environment of the regions
of the Gulf of Gdańsk and the Puck Bay as well as the surrounding coastal
regions. For a
long time a lot of scientific research into the function and protection of
the sea’s ecosystem has been unfulfilled due to the lack of this type of
research facility and its specialised equipment. The
Hel Marine Station has
many research commitments (including international)
and is particularly well-suited to the study of the function and protection
of life in the Baltic. It completes the research capabilities of institutes
which are traditionally located in large conurbations and are therefore
deprived of the possibility of conducting permanent field observations, e.g.
specialist monitoring. The location of the station and the ecological
conditions of the southern Baltic arouse great interest among many foreign
researchers. Here they can carry out comparative experiments on organisms
which constitute the boundary of their zoogeographical range. This
particularly concerns forms which are relict-arctic or boreal-warm-water.
The capabilities of carrying out multiple series of biological observations
over a long period of time in the regions of the Gulf of Gdańsk and the
Puck Bay allow for the tracing of changes in the biodiversity of these
waters. This is why in March 1994 the Hel Marine Station joined the European
Network of Marine and Biological Research Stations (MARS-Network) and
participates in the research projects of this organization.
the research efforts of the Hel Marine Station team are concentrated on the
~ the biology and ecology of the fish found in the coastal zone of
~ the biology and ecology of Baltic marine mammals
protection of rare species and biotopes in the Baltic.
The station is the
national centre for the research of marine mammals that live in the Polish
part of the Baltic. It is equipped with modern hydro-acoustic monitoring and
recording equipment for the tracking and study of cetaceans, while the
research into seal migration is conducted with the use of satellite
The Station specialises in researching the effects of
fishing on the state of the resources available to these creatures. By
controlling the population size and testing the biology and ecology of
Baltic mammals it fulfils Poland’s obligations in regards to the Helsinki
and Bonn Conventions which are a part of the Agreement on the Conservation
of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS). The station, as
part of the European Centre of Exellence for Baltic Development, Education
and Research (BALTDER), is realising the project entitled “Endangered
species of Baltic marine mammals – threats, investigations and
grey seal research, breeding and rehabilitation centre in
Hel Marine Station in visited by over 450.000 people every year.
Hel Marine Station of the Institute of Oceanography has a long-running
to restore grey seals to the Polish waters of the Baltic Sea.
The station is equipped with
aquariums and breeding tanks with seawater flow that are indispensable to
experiments which aim to replicate conditions as close to the naturally
existing ones as possible. This also creates the possibility of flora and
fauna research and their reactions to different hydrological conditions, the
effects of pollution on their health, growth and
reproductive abilities. The existence of such a system allows the
long-term retention of living research material which can be used for
various research purposes. Among other things this allowed for the
commencement of a long-term project to restore grey seals to the Polish
coast of the Baltic and research into different species of acipenserid fish.
The station possesses a taxonomic collection of Baltic and Antarctic
ichthyofauna, including rare species from this group of creatures.
The Hel Marine Station is the only
station of its kind on the southern and eastern coasts of the Baltic. It is
fitted with exploration equipment, which serves the needs for the research
of the coastal zone of the Baltic. It possesses mobile research equipment,
an all-terrain vehicle, boats and specialist fishing and diving equipment.
The living quarters of the Station
provide bedrooms, seminar rooms and a canteen – and the station’s high
reputation brings together European specialists in the field of ecological
research into the seas of the Baltic, Arctic and Antarctic regions.
The Hel Marine Station of the
UG Institute of Oceanography is also a teaching institution. Field
work takes place here along with vacation and diploma work experience,
specialist courses, lectures and seminars. The pro-ecological educational
activity is aided by the exhibitions visited by quests coming to Hel.
2003 the Hel Marine Station received the title
"Promoter of Ecology"
for its informational activities.
Hel Marine Station of the UG is also a teaching institution. Field classes
take place here along with vacational and diploma work experience,
specialist courses, lectures and seminars. Classes in the biology and
ecology of the sea are provided for foreign higher schools as well as for
students from various countries in Europe and the USA. Among the most
popular events is the “Blue School”, which offers schools at all levels,
lessons in the ecology of the sea and the biology of marine organisms. A
similar kind of pro-ecological educational activity is the “Alliance with
Nature” course for soldiers and officers from various military units
mainly form the Navy. This kind of educational activity meant that the Hel
Marine Station received the title of ‘Promoter of Ecology’ in 2003. The
centre for research, breeding and rehabilitation of grey seals in the Hel
Marine Station is visited by over 450 000 people every year.
84-150 Hel, ul. Morska 2, Poland
tel.: +48 58 6750-836, fax: +48 58 6750-420