How healthy is the Baltic Sea?

Eutrophication

The Baltic Sea is one of the most threatened major bodies of water in the world with dead zones covering one sixth of the sea bottom as a consequence of eutrophication. Turning the Baltic Sea into a body of water that is both environmentally and economically sustainable will take the collective efforts of policy makers, businesses, civil society and the public. Race For The Baltic focuses on projects that offer solutions to address the increasing pressures on the Baltic Sea.

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One of the major issues facing the Baltic Sea is eutrophication, which has harmful effects on water quality, causes algal blooms and oxygen depletion, disrupts feeding and reproduction and threatens biodiversity. By doing so, eutrophication throws out of sync the delicate balance that exists in any aquatic environment and creates a negative feedback loop which threatens to turn the Baltic into a dead sea.

The source of most of the eutrophication affecting the Baltic is well known-the harmful environmental practices of industry and agriculture around the Baltic. The combination of unsustainable industrial animal farming and over-fertilisation has resulted in a sea that is slowly dying because it is overloaded with nutrients.

About 80% of all nutrients in the Baltic Sea come from land-based activities including sewage, industrial and municipal waste water and agricultural run-off.

Race For The Baltic works for more dialogue, close-loops systems and innovation to solve these challenges.

Read more about Baltic Sea Action Plan by HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission).