Baltic Sea: The scientists’ new discovery raises concerns

Östersjön: Forskarnas nya upptäckt väcker oro


En kamerabur sänks ned från fartyget ”Ocean Surveyor”. Den kan ta bilder på flera hundra meters djup.

Maringeologerna Anna Apler och Lovisa Zillén Snowball hämtar prover från havsbottnen.

Bilderna från Östersjöns botten avslöjar ett dött landskap.

På flera ställen längs Norrlandskusten finns gamla miljögifter kvar på bottnen.

 Nearly one-sixth of the Baltic Sea is dead. This is equivalent to more than the whole of Denmark surface. DN followed by marine geologist Lovisa Zillén Snowball who clearly sees how the situation has worsened. Researchers have discovered a disturbing trend: Sea eagles have started to become sterile.The ship ”Ocean Surveyor” is equipped with high end appliances and has space for 15 people. For much of the year, measures and analyzes marine geologist Lovisa Zillén Snowball and her colleagues on the Baltic seabed. DN accompanying the casting off of Lake Mälaren, just outside Fittja.- All knowledge of the ocean is important to understanding how the ecosystem works, said Lovisa Zillén Snowball, Director of Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU).

The government has introduced a ”marine billion” in order to reduce the problems of eutrophication in the oceans. According to former Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren (C) was one of the purposes of ”saving the Baltic Sea”. The government has also created a new agency, the Marine Institute.

Despite these measures, the situation in the Baltic Sea to worsen. One of the big problems is eutrophication. Almost one in six, 15 percent, of the bottoms are dead. They cover a larger area than Denmark and among the largest known globally.

– What if it had happened on land. That all life died out in such a large area. There had been a huge environmental disaster – and received many measures. But what is happening under the surface may not be the same attention. The one that gets the most attention with eutrophication are algal blooms. That is what the public sees, says Lovisa Zillén Snowball.

Another 30 percent of the Baltic bottoms suffering from acute asphyxia, according to SMHI.

Lovisa Zillén Snowball and her colleague Anna Apler elevators down a camera to the bottom. On a screen in an office on the ship shows a television screen how it looks in the sea.

They show a number of pictures that were taken last year. The photographs reveal the reality behind the headlines of ”asphyxia” and ”eutrophication”. In the pictures from the seabed of the Baltic Sea, it is completely dead. No plants, no animals or other organisms.

Although the country has the problems of the Baltic Sea had consequences. Scientists have discovered new problems with eagles. At the Norrland coast are clear indications that sea eagles have started to become sterile.

– The Sea Eagles were dying out in the 60s. But environmental toxins such as DDT and PCBs was banned and then added steps in to save the eagles in the country. The populations went up. Now, in recent years the populations begin to decline again in the northern Baltic Sea, especially around Ångermanälven estuary.

Is it because then they start to become sterile?

– You’ve checked the eggs and see how many of them will hatch. The eggs become brittle and never hatch. It is the reproduction of white-tailed eagles that do not work. When one examines the eagle eggs so you can find the old environmental toxins. They probably comes from what we call fiber banks – toxic paper which lies on the sea floor – and that now is no longer stable. It shows our investigations, says Lovisa Zillén Snowball.

The World Wildlife Fund has been critical of the government’s Sea policy. The organization believes that the wind power capacity, more cargo vessels and more ’cruise tourism’ risk together with agriculture and industry further destroy the Baltic Sea.

Kristoffer Orstadius

kristoffer.orstadius @

Scientists are concerned is an extremely odd statement when you are already in the 1950s knew what hydropower causes, in the United States detonates now dams to just save the water from total death.

DamNation Now Available on Vimeo

DamNation FilmLast night, DamNation from Felt Soul Media and Stoecker Ecological (and presented by Patagonia) screened in m0re than 20 Patagonia stores throughout the U.S. To say the least (and we will post more later), the film is incredible and a must-see for any angler. Now the film is available on Vimeo.From the filmmakers:

“This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation¹s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature. Learn more about the film and take action at”

To check out DamNation on Vimeo, please click here.


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