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Problems of Baltic sea Lasnamae Gymnasium, Estonia 2012
The health of the Baltic Sea has been seriously damaged since the 1960s due to excessive pollution from the countries in its catchment area. The pollution, such as untreated human waste, toxic materials, and metal (e.g. lead), have resulted in stratification of the Baltic Sea. http://www1.american.edu/TED/baltic.htm
The main problem areas in the Baltic Sea are: eutrophication caused by increasing nutrient loads, bioaccumulation of harmful substances, increased maritime transport and a subsequent risk of more chemical or oil spills, and the spreading of invasive (i.e. alien) species.
Eutrophication in the Baltic Sea The availability of nutrients, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus, is one of the primary factors limiting the growth of aquatic plants and algae. When excess nutrients end up in a water body the abundance and species composition of algae and aquatic plants changes. This is called eutrophication.
Total nutrient load into the Baltic Sea 1994-2003
The Gulf of Finland suffers from the highestnutrient levels in the Baltic Sea, even though thenutrient load was decreased by 40 per centduring the 1990s. The decrease was the result ofsuccessful load reductions in Estonia and therecession that followed the structural changes inthe Russian economy.
Harmful substances in the Baltic Sea The high population in the countries around the Baltic Sea and activities such as agriculture and industry result in heavy loading of harmful substances into the Baltic. Because of the long residence time of the water and unfavourable conditions for decomposition, like the cold climate and the winter ice cover, harmful compounds tend to accumulate in the flora and fauna.
Maritime transport on the Baltic Sea The passenger ferry traffic from Helsinki to Tallinn has increased substantially. This passenger traffic crosses the Gulf of Finlands main transportation route. In 2007, over 5.8 million passengers travelled to Tallinn, Estonia, via the port of Helsinki. The Baltic Sea countries have agreed on measures to improve maritime safety, and thus the number of accidents has not risen.