• Sweden's news in English

Baltic Sea on slow path to recovery: Swedish study

TT/The Local · 12 May 2009, 09:41

Published: 12 May 2009 09:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

For the first time, discharges of fertilizer have decreased giving the body of water off Sweden's east coast a chance to recover.

The Baltic Sea has started its environmental turnaround due in part to the construction of new treatment works in Poland following the country's entry into the EU. Furthermore farmers in Denmark and Sweden have improved fertilizer management.

The first significant effects of the change will not be felt for 30-50 years however, according to a report in Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

The research has been compiled by Fredrik Wulff at Stockholm University who has made the new calculations on commission from the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM).

"A very positive surprise," Wulff said of his results to SvD.

Discharges of phosphates and nitrogen have been substantial since the 1970s. Variations have to date been ascribed to natural causes - such as rainfall.

Levels of pollutants have ultimately reached levels that have disturbed several functions of the sea's ecosystem.

Oxygen levels have declined in the water and areas of the sea-bed devoid of oxygen have expanded at the same time as poisonous algal blooming has become a regular occurrence.

Several years ago the ecosystem shifted from nutrient-poor to eutrophication.

Environmental ministers from the countries around the Baltic Sea agreed in 2007 on goals to re-establish natural levels on discharges. This means that the annual emission of phosphates needs to decline by 15,000 tonnes per annum and nitrogen by 137,000 tonnes.

Story continues below…

It has now been shown that levels of these materials have declined for the first time - by 3,000 tonnes and 50,000 tonnes respectively.

"The measures that have been taken have begun to have an effect," Wulff said.

The new treatment works process the phosphates and the improved management of fertilizers reduces the nitrogen emissions.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:21 May 12, 2009 by Random Guy
i have grown up summers on syd-koster outside stomstad and the cod are just gone. when i was little, i could pull up as much as you wanted in an eve finshing. now nothing. plus, i have been down scuba and the bottom is now dead. nothing but mud. same as in usa and other areas where farm and other discharge kill the sea bead. all of the local fishermen say the crabs are all empty and not worth the time to fish for. you have to go deep to get shrimp on and on and on. it will take more than this to get it back!
Today's headlines
This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available