The shallow water is a special marine habitat and a distinct feature of the Archipelago. Therefore, “The shallow water” has been selected as one of the Archipelago’s “Big Five” at Øhavets Smakke- og Naturcenter.
The South Funen Archipelago is one of the largest coherent shallow water areas in Denmark. It has an area of 415 km2 with an average depth of 6-8 metres with vast areas where the depth is only about 1 metre.
And the water is teeming with life. Ranging from microscopic algae to large seals.
The shallow water can be considered a large production hall, working at full throttle.
The water is so shallow in most places that the entire water column is illuminated by the sun. The sun’s rays reach down to the very bottom of the Archipelago. This means that both microscopic algae and plants on the seabed and in the water are bathed in light. And they can photosynthesise. Photosynthesis is the process that feeds all life in the Archipelago.
In the Archipelago, you can see and feel the life everywhere. If you step out on the sea floor in bare feet, you will probably notice that the bottom is a bit sticky. This is the incredible amount of microscopic diatoms — about 16 million algae per cm2. They constitute a kind of “secret garden”. They photosynthesise and grow and serve as food to worms, clams and snails, which in turn become food for small fish, crabs and shrimp, which are in turn eaten by big fish, birds and seals.
Learn fun facts about the shallow water – the larder of the Archipelago in Nørderiet here below. Visit the exhibition “Above Island and Sea” with us on Strynø and learn even more. Get a sneak peek of the other themes from the exhibition here: