The research vessel Oceanograf, after sailing four thousand nautical miles on its SEA-EU cruise, will moor at the quay near the Fishmarket square in Gdańsk this Saturday. In this way, with the participation of scientists, the authorities of the University of Gdańsk and the City of Gdańsk, the international scientific cruise will come to an end. Come and welcome Oceanograf with us!

The University of Gdańsk's catamaran set off on May 26, from Gdynia harbour to Kiel in Germany, then sailed to Brest in France from where it went to Cadiz in Spain. The SEA-EU cruise had educational and scientific values, but its most important value is strengthening bonds between European coastal universities. The scientific team included geochemists, chemists, physicists and biologists. In total, the research vessel sailed four thousand nautical miles.

The scientific council of the SEA- EU alliance of coastal universities selected the projects carried out on the ship:

  1. Gas accumulation in surface sediments of the continental shelf in an interdisciplinary approach - dr Aleksandra Brodecka-Goluch, UG
  2. Air quality in European coastal areas - dr hab. Anita Lewandowska, prof. UG
  3. Large-scale comparative studies of microplastics in European coastal waters - Daniel Gonzales Fernandez, University of Cadiz

Oceanograf is the most advanced vessel of its type on our continent. It has six rooms dedicated to research: a wet laboratory, a measurement laboratory, a sterile laboratory, a thermostatic laboratory, an aerosol research station and a tracking deck. Modern equipment was also at the disposal of the research team. Bottom, pelagic and beam trawling equipment and a meteorological station are used daily.

On the route from Gdynia to Kiel, scientists from Poland, Spain and Germany were on board the 'Oceanograf'. Despite difficult weather conditions, it was possible to carry out hydroacoustic, chemical and biological research. Thanks to the use of specialised equipment installed on board, the attempt to carry out interdisciplinary research aimed at determining the impact of man on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea was successful.

In Kiel, the ship received many distinguished guests, including the authorities of the University of Gdańsk. A press conference was held on board, where representatives of Kiel University and prof. Fidel Echevarria, the coordinator of the alliance, talked about the voyage and SEA-EU itself. The members of the SEA-EU Governing Board were then given a tour of the Oceanograf by dr Aleksandra Brodecka-Goluch, the cruise's scientific director, and Andrzej Wawrzyniak, the ship's captain.

In the German harbour, the Oceanograf became a 'drifting university'. Students and scientists from Christian Albrecht University of Kiel (CAU) boarded the ship to take part in research in the Eckernförde Bay. The one-day expedition was very diverse in terms of the research carried out. First, the Oceanograf scientists made hydroacoustic measurements with, among other things, a multibeam echosounder that maps the seabed. They then collected samples from the water column over pockmarks, which are funnels on the seabed through which greenhouse gases can be emitted. Using other tools such as a Van Veen scoop, WP2 net and multinet, the research team collected samples of sediment, zooplankton and microplastics.

On the next leg of the cruise, the Oceanograf sailed from Kiel to Brest. During this six-day transit, the team of scientists collected various types of samples from the estuaries of Western Europe's largest rivers - the Elbe, Rhine and Seine. During the second leg of the cruise, which ended on June 10 in Brest, the scientists completed 90% of the planned research thanks to favourable weather conditions. Seven days later, in Cadiz, on the occasion of the ship's arrival in that port, more than 1,200 people had the opportunity to view an exhibition consisting of 29 panels and a film by the Director of the Centre for Film and Documentary Production, Wojciech Głodek, on the SEA-EU alliance, the ship and its expedition, and the importance of balancing the oceans and the coast. During these open days at the Oceanograf, university staff, students, children and adults had the opportunity to introduce the topics, the cruise, scientific research and the idea of the SEA-EU alliance.

A total of 47 scientists and students from six academic units took part: University of Gdańsk (9 persons), University of Cadiz (11 persons), University of Brest (17 persons), University of Kiel (4 persons), University of Malta (1 person), University of Split (5 persons). Kseniia Andrieieva, a PhD student from the University of Odessa, also participated in the cruise. The invitation by SEA EU member universities to the Ukrainian scientist was an expression of support for the country and the people of science.

On June 22, representatives of all the member universities, including the Rector of the University of Gdańsk, prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski, the project coordinator, prof. Fidel Echieverra, the Rector of Split University, prof. Dragan Ljutić PhD, and the Rector of Cadiz University, prof. Francisco Piniella, met in Cadiz to discuss progress to date in the SEA-EU and the next stage of the project.

The visit of the Oceanograf to each of the ports generated a lot of interest - among locals, tourists and regional and national media.

However, the residents of Gdańsk and tourists staying here will have a rare opportunity, already on Saturday 02.07.2022 at 12.00, to see the research vessel, which will enter the channel at the quay in Gdańsk and moor near the Fishmarket square. This will mark the official end of the SEA-EU voyage.

We invite you - come with your families and give a warm welcome to the Oceanograf and its crew!

Press Office UG