Experimental bouy for oxygenation of bottom waters. Photo: Gunnar Aneer/Azote

Published: 2015-09-01

No miracle solution for the Baltic Sea

Seabased measures is not an alternative to landbased measures in abating eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. Landbased measures will eventually lead to improvement, not only in the sea but also in lakes and rivers, and are necessary for a sustainable society, leading Baltic Sea researchers state.

In a recent debate article in the Swedish media Svenska Dagbladet three researchers and innovators argue that landbased measures will not lead to an improved status of the Baltic Sea and promote instead seabased measures, such as dredging, chemical precipitation and pumping of oxygen.

- This is completely wrong, says Bo Gustafsson at Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre in a response to the article. We do not oppose a debate about seabased measures, but these experimental seabased measures can not replace landbased measures. Phosphorus is a limited resource that should not be wasted. Measures on land are also necessary to improve lakes, rivers and coastal waters, and they will improve Baltic Sea eutrophication although it will take time.

- The discussion and research on seabased measures should continue, but still being on an experimental stage it is not responsible to put them against landbased measures, he concludes.


Bo Gustafsson, Docent, Baltic Nest Institute, Östersjöcentrum, Stockholms universitet

Christoph Humborg, Professor, Östersjöcentrum, Stockholms universitet

Tina Elfwing, Fil. Dr., Föreståndare, Östersjöcentrum, Stockholms universitet

Erik Bonsdorff, Professor, Institutionen för biovetenskaper, miljö- och marinbiologi, Åbo Akademi

Alf Norkko, Professor, Tvärminne zoologiska station, Helsingfors universitet

Jacob Carstensen, Professor, Baltic Nest Institute och Institutet för biovetenskaper, Aarhus universitet

Daniel Conley, Professor, Geologiska Institutionen, Lunds universitet

Lennart Gladh, Expert Övergödning/Östersjön, Världsnaturfonden WWF

Helén Andersson, Fil. Dr., Enhetschef Oceanografisk forskning, SMHI

Links to the articles:

Debate article in Svenska Dagbladet 27/8 2015 "Ny kunskap om övergödning ignoreras"

Response article in Svenska Dagbladet 1/9 2015 "Det finns ingen mirakelmedicin för Östersjön"

PDF "Det finns ingen mirakelmedicin för Östersjön"PDF (pdf, 275.1 kB)

Final response article in Svenska Dagbladet 3/9 2015 "Fler sätt att minska övergödning bör övervägas"

Read more about the Baltic Sea Centres seminar "Seabased measures" in English or Swedish

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Web editor: Marmar Nekoro

Updated: 2015-09-04
Baltic Nest Institute Sweden
Baltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, +46-8-16 37 18
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