Images from Gullmarn, Sweden

Diving in muddy conditions is perhaps not what most divers crave, but it gives an interesting angle on marine life - and some unique images. Check out the latest from Gullmarn on the Swedish west coast!

Posted on May 9, 2011

Gullmarn, located east of idyllic coastal town Lysekil, is Sweden's only threshold fjord and a virtual treasure chest of strange arctic and deep-water species.

With a length of 25 km and a depth of almost 120 meters, Gullmarn boasts a rocky shoreline dotted with sandy beaches and a muddy bottom at depth.

This does perhaps not sound like your ideal dive destination, but the marine life has baffled scientist since 1877 when the first marine laboratory was opened at Kristineberg.

This was followed by the opening of the Bornö Hydrographic Field Station in 1902 and Klubbans Biological Station run by the university in Uppsala in 1915.

Today, marine research facilities also include the Ocean Fisheries Laboratory and the public aquarium at Havets Hus.

God's Ocean

The threshold at the mouth of the Gullmarn is just 20-23 meters deep, and keeps the seawater out and gives way to a more static environment on the inside.

This is preferred by many species normally found at greater depths, such as firework anemones, sea feathers and Norwegian lobster.

The fjord is home to varied and species-rich marine habitats, and diving here is always exciting - you never know what might turn up.

Findings in the fjord includes exotic species like an oceanic white-tip shark (in 2006) and the almost mythical oarfish, which turned up outside Lysekil in 2010. Although both animals were dead, this goes a long way to show the diversity of the area.

Gullmarn, which in old Nordic means "God's Ocean", is a protected marine area, and is very popular among sport divers.

If you want to dive in the area, Dive Team in Lysekil will provide air or nitrox and very friendly service.

Life on the bottom

The marine life consists mainly of benthic (bottom-dwelling) species, and several different gobies and flatfish can be seen on every dive.

Crustaceans also thrive on the nutrient-rich bottom, and swimming crabs, shore crabs, decorator crabs and spider crabs can be seen in abundance.

The already mentioned Norwegian lobster can in some places be found found burrowing as shallow as 25 meters, among sea pens and sea feathers.

I have been diving in Gullmarn on several locations over the last weeks and months, and have now added almost 40 images from the area to the image database.

» Click here to browse images from Gullmarn

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