Study: ‘Baltic sea bed in worst condition ever’

The Baltic Sea has never been in such a bad condition, a new study from meteorological agency SMHI shows. A quarter of the sea bed shows no sign of life.

The new measurements charting oxygen content in the sea’s deep water are shocking and are the worst since the Swedish meteorological agency SMHI records began in 1960.

This year sea water tests were conducted at 60 locations, significantly more comprehensive than the usual 12-13 samples.

In many of the tests there was little or no oxygen at all.

According to the report 26 percent of the sea bed in the western, eastern and north Gotland basins were totally lifeless while 46 percent of the areas were suffering an acute lack of oxygen, according to a report in Göteborgs-Posten (GP).

The oxygen composition of the Baltic Sea has been poor during the whole of the 2000’s due to, among other things, the weak inflows of oxygen-rich water.

“The last significant inflow was in 1993,” according to Anna-Kerstin Thell at SMHI’s oceanographic department to GP.

The influx of oxygen showed up clearly in measurements taken in 1995 when the state of the Baltic Sea bed was at its healthiest since 1960.