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Seabed Dying In The Baltic Sea

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  • Pat Neuman
    Seabed Dying In The Baltic Sea Satellite image of the Baltic Sea. by Staff Writers Helsinki (AFP) Aug 17, 2006 An increasing lack of oxygen at the bottom of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18 4:34 AM
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      Seabed Dying In The Baltic Sea

      Satellite image of the Baltic Sea.
      by Staff Writers
      Helsinki (AFP) Aug 17, 2006
      An increasing lack of oxygen at the bottom of the Baltic Sea is
      causing animal and plant life to die, with parts of the Gulf of
      Finland seabed resembling a desert, a European study published on
      Thursday showed.
      "The bottom fauna monitoring gave the worst results so far. An
      abundant and diversified bottom fauna was now found only at four
      observation sites of 47" in the Gulf of Finland, the Finnish
      Institute of Marine Research and the Finnish Environment Institute
      said.

      Their study is the result of a project carried out by scientists
      from six EU countries (Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy and
      Latvia) in the north of the Baltic Sea aboard two oceanographic
      vessels.

      "No less than 37 observation sites were entirely without bottom
      animals. The bottom fauna is a good indicator of the long-term
      status of the bottom and especially the changes in the oxygen
      regime," they said.

      Lack of oxygen is a growing problem in the Baltic Sea.

      "At all observation stations, in the Gulf of Finland as well as in
      the northern Baltic proper, there was very little or no oxygen in
      the bottom-near water at depths below 50-60 metres," the study said.

      Meanwhile, toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide, nitrogen and
      phosphorus were found almost everywhere.

      "The overall situation is not the most serious (ever recorded, but)
      it's one of the most serious cases. But as far as oxygen-depletion
      is concerned, we are at the same level as in the 1990s or even
      worse," one of the expedition leaders, Harri Kankaanpaeae of the
      Finnish Institute of Marine Research, told AFP.

      The phenomenon, which is caused by large amounts of pollutants
      dumped in the sea by countries bordering the Baltic, has been
      aggravated by natural factors, he said.

      "Oxygen-depleted waters came from the west, i.e. the center of
      Baltic Sea, towards the Gulf of Finland, whereas constant winds ...
      pushed oxygen-saturated waters from east to west," he said.

      Environmentalists are particularly concerned about pollution in the
      Baltic Sea because of the slow rate of natural cleansing. The
      shallow inland sea has only a narrow outlet across the Straits of
      Oeresund between Sweden and Denmark.


      Source: Agence France-Presse
      Related Links
      Finnish Institute of Marine Research
      Finnish Environment Institute

      http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Seabed_Dying_In_The_Baltic_Sea_999.
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