Invigning på Skansen med kronprinsessan Victoria
HRH Crown Princess Victoria opens the doors at the inauguration of the Baltic Sea Science Centre.
Photo: Henrik Hamrén

On 11 April, HRH Crown Princess Victoria inaugurated the Baltic Sea Science Centre (BSSC) at Skansen, the open-air museum in Stockholm. For a long time, the Crown Princess has been greatly involved in the fate of the Baltic. During a private walking tour she was impressed by how the BSSC exhibition combines knowledge about the Baltic Sea with explanations of what concrete actions we can take to help the Baltic recover.

“We need to know ourselves and feel responsibility,” the Crown Princess concluded before she opened the doors to the waiting visitors. 

The major initiative to build an educational centre began five years ago when the BalticSea2020 Foundation came up with a request to Skansen to finance an investment in information about the threats to the Baltic Sea. A central prerequisite for this cooperation was to ensure the advance of knowledge and the link to research. Stockholm University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) were chosen as partners.

The sea, the climate and the environment a priority for Stockholm University

The president of Stockholm University, Astrid Söderbergh Widding took part in a preview a couple of days before and noted in her speech that the sea, the climate and the environment are prioritised topics for the university. She stressed that the Academy must interact and collaborate in order to reach a wide audience with research results and increase involvement in the challenges to the Baltic Sea. 
“The BSSC will serve as an important arena for this activity," she said.

Aquariums with different habitats

In the aquarium tunnel the large fishes swim just above your head. Photo: Lisa Bergqvist

The first thing that visitors encounter when they enter the entrance doors are the big aquariums. Here you can see fish that live near the coast, but also aquariums with schooling fish as well as larger predatory fish such as cod, salmon and sea trout, which live further out in deeper waters. On the ground floor there are also several smaller aquariums showing the different sea habitats along the coast. It is also easy to become fascinated by the aquariums with jellyfish floating through the water, or the aquarium tunnel where the large predatory fish swim just above your head.

In the exhibition section you can see how human life and the sea are interdependent. Here you can see what lies beneath the surface and along the beaches and coastline of the Baltic Sea. There are also areas for teaching with a laboratory and a room for showing films. Researchers at the universities participate in several of the films.

Knowledge counsel with researchers

To ensure that the material in the exhibitions is based on facts and is linked to the research, there is a knowledge counsel that includes researchers from Stockholm University and SLU. This counsel will continue to be the scientific link.

At the BSSC, even climatic changes will be highlighted, as well as three biggest challenges to the Baltic Sea: environmental toxins, fishing and eutrophication. The exhibition also shows how our choices in everyday life affect the Baltic Sea.

“We think it is important to bring home the message that the Baltic Sea is not a dead sea. There are a lot of positive changes that are already taking place, and things can even become better. However, it is also important that as humans we also take responsibility for everything we do that affects the sea,” says Linda Kumblad, researcher at the Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre and coordinator for Stockholm University’s work at BSSC and in the Swedish Knowledge Counsel.

Read more on The Baltic Sea Science Centre.