-The interest for measures to improve the marine environment is large, says Lena Viktorsson, researcher at the Baltic Sea Centre  and focusing on policy relevant research. Together with the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management she and the Baltic Eye were hosting the popular seminar.
-There are many local initiatives to enhance the sight depth in coastal bays, but we also see proposals for large scale solutions to oxygenate the entire Baltic Sea.

9 pilot studies evaluated

During the day nine studies of seabased measures from the Baltic Sea region were presented. Everything from feed mussel farming to aluminum injections to sediment to bind phosphorus were presented.

Professor Anders Stigebrandt at Gothenburg University presented one of the more disputed methods. In Byfjorden he and his team have been pumping oxygenated water to the anoxic bottoms to enable life to get back again.  Stigebrandt’s vision is to place hundred of pumping stations in the Baltic Sea. According to him, the entire Baltic proper could be oxygenated again through this method.
- To restore the Baltic Sea to levels we had back in the 1940’s would take maybe 10 years. After that, the sea would be homogenated and able to oxygenate by itself again.

Is it possible to oxygenate the Baltic Sea?

During the seminar, many of the researchers pointed out that the marine ecosystem is very sensitive and that we today lack knowledge on how flora and fauna would react to large scale manipulation.

- There’s a risk that the public will stop the efforts on land to reduce the nutrient leakage if they think sea based measures are enough, was Maria Lamaanen’s, scientific advisor at the Finnish Environmental Ministry, take. – Continuous efforts on land as decided by Helcom’s work and the Baltic Sea Action Plan is still very much needed.

Lena Viktorsson stated that the risks and uncertainties follows the size of the projects.

- We still know very little of the long term effects. Is the phosphorus removed from the system if we oxygenate during 10 years? What will happen when new animal species colonize the sediments? We need to confirm the results scientifically and to a complete estimation of the environmental impact.

Watch the entire seminar on Seabased measures, 12th of February 2015

To the playlist on youtube


1. Intro and scientific background.Christoph Humborg (Baltic Sea Centre), Stefan Berggren (Swedish Ministry of Environment) and Bo Gustafsson (Baltic Nest Institute).

2. Presentation of projects "Anoxic sediments bind P after AI-treatment" (Emil Rydin and Linda Kumblad). "Oxygenation of anoxic bottoms" (Anders Stigebrandt). "Removing eutrophication-causing sediment top layer from seabed" (Bengt Simonsson). Enhanced inactivation of P in sediments by addition of marl" (Sven Blomqvist).

3. Presentations of local projects "Nutrient recycling in agricultural landscapes via production wetlands, algea and biogas" (Matilda Gradin, Trelleborg). "Eutrophication as an resource" (Dennis Wiström, Västervik), "benefits and disadvantages of artificial oxygenation" (Jouni Lehtoranta and Heikki Pitkänen, SYKE). "Can a reduction of zooplankton feeding fish improve water quality?" (Sif johansson, EviEM). "Feed-mussel farms to harvest nutrients from the sea" (Susanna Minnhagen, Kalmar)

4. Seabased measures in perspective Lena Viktorsson, Baltic Eye, Stockholms universitets Östersjöcentrum.

5. Panel discussion and closing remarks Panel discussion on potential risks and the way forward. Maria Laamanen (Finnish Ministry of the Environment), Mikhail Durkin (Eco Balt), Sif johansson (EviEM), Pauli Merriman (WWF) and Karl-johan Lehtinen (NEFCO). Moderated by Susanna Baltscheffsky (Ny Teknik).
Closing remarks and wrap up by Thomas Johansson (Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management) and Christoph Humborg (Baltic Sea Centre).