Sweden is surrounded by the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. These bodies of salt water have played important roles in shapping the culture of the country. They're also a great place to look for interesting sealife.
The North Sea spans the prime meridian. Therefore coordinates will include longitudinal coordinates which are both east as well as west of the prime meridian. For the most part, the sea lies on the European continental shelf. The only exception is a narrow area of the northern North Sea off Norway. The North Sea is bounded by the island of Great Britain to the west and by the northern and central European mainland with Norway (north-east), Denmark (east), Germany (south-east), the Netherlands (south), Belgium and France (south-west).
In the south-west the North Sea becomes the English Channel beyond the Straits of Dover, in the east it is connected to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, and to the north it opens in a widening funnel shape to the Norwegian Sea which lies in the eastern part of the North Atlantic.
Apart from the obvious boundaries formed by the coasts of the countries which border it, the North Sea is bounded by an imaginary line from Lindesnes in Norway to Hanstholm in Denmark running towards the Skagerrak. The northern limit towards the Atlantic, by the nature of the area, is less well-defined. Traditionally, an imaginary line is taken to run from northern Scotland by way of the Shetlands to Ålesund in Norway. According to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlanticof 1962 it runs further to the west and north from longitude 5º West and latitude 62º North, at the latitude of Geirangerfjord in Norway. The main rivers which drain into the North Sea are: from the mainland, the Scheldt, the Meuse, the Rhine, the Ems, the Weser and the Elbe, as well as the Thames in England which empties into it north of the Straits of Dover.
The surface area of the North Sea is approx. 575,000 km2 (222,000 mi²), with a volume of around 54,000 km3 (12,955 mi³). This size places the North Sea at the 13th largest world wide sea.