The Szczecin Lagoon and Pomeranian Bay
Fishing in the Szczecin Lagoon has been carried on for centuries. Moreover, since the eighteenth century, the lagoon has been an important waterway for the transport of people and cargo. Only in the twentieth century did it become a significant tourist and recreational area. The lagoon has a total area of 910 km2: the smaller, western part lies in Germany, while the larger, eastern part (687 km2) belongs to Poland. To the north, the lagoon is closed off by the islands of Uznam and Wolin. The prevailing hydrological conditions are largely governed by the River Oder: the river’s freshwaters carry large amounts of organic matter and heavy metals to the lagoon, contaminating it. It is a shallow, brackish water body, with an average depth of 3.8 m (max. 8.5 m) (Fig. 3.1).