Nature & biodiversity
Many different habitat types, both above and below the water surface, make the Archipelago Sea one of the most species-rich areas in the whole country. As both Åbo Akademi University and Turku University have conducted research here for several decades, the Archipelago Sea is one of the most well-researched in Finland – not only from a biological, but also from a geological, historical and socio-economic perspective.
In one way or another, all activities in the archipelago are affected by the surrounding sea. Working for a thriving marine environment is therefore one of the biosphere reserve’s most important tasks. The biosphere reserve does not conduct its own research, but the emphasis is on disseminating current research and good examples of what you as an organization or private person can do to save the Baltic Sea.
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Traditional farming in the archipelago has both ecological and cultural benefits. In close collaboration with the National Park, the biosphere reserve has highlighted the ecological and economic aspects of landscape conservation and encouraged farmers to market their products as natural pasture meat. The biosphere reserve has also conducted courses in landscape management and promoted cooperation between landowners and animal keepers to find more grazing animals for nature areas that are in need of landscape conservation.
The biosphere office has made great efforts to promote the sheep industry in the archipelago. Sheep farming is well suited for the fragmented island landscape, which provides good conditions for small-scale, high-quality meat production. Interest in the sheep industry has increased markedly over the past 10 years. Grazing sheep also have an important task in landscape management and thus the diversity of species in the archipelago.