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The Skagerrak: environmental state and monitoring prospects: A pomular report
Andersen, I.; Berge, J.A.; Andersen, H.L.; Berntsson, I.; Danielssen, D.; Foverskov, S.; Gjøsaeter, J.; Granmo, A.; Hylland, K.; Håkansson, B.; Johannessen, T.; Karlson, B.; Knutsen, J.A.; Hansen, O.S.; Sjöberg, B.; Torstensen, E.; Tveite, S.; Ærtebjerg, G. (2000). The Skagerrak: environmental state and monitoring prospects: A pomular report. Forum Skagerrak: Göteborg. ISBN 91-89507-00-2. 35 pp.

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  • Andersen, I.
  • Berge, J.A.
  • Andersen, H.L.
  • Berntsson, I.
  • Danielssen, D.
  • Foverskov, S.
  • Gjøsaeter, J.
  • Granmo, A.
  • Hylland, K.
  • Håkansson, B.
  • Johannessen, T.
  • Karlson, B.
  • Knutsen, J.A.
  • Hansen, O.S.
  • Sjöberg, B.
  • Torstensen, E.
  • Tveite, S.
  • Ærtebjerg, G.

    Eutrophication and toxic contaminants in Skagerrak are severe coastal problems in Norway and Sweden due to restricted water exchange and local loading. The increased supply of nutrients, which took place between 1940s to 1980s, are causing serious changes in the ecosystem. Main sources are German Bight and Kattegat waters, as well as atmosperic precipitation. Eutrophication in combination with natural variability also contributes to short-term extreme events like toxic algal blooms and severe oxygen deficits. However, the open sea shows small changes indicative for increased supply of nutrients.Toxic contaminants are mainly supplied by terrestrial loading, atmospheric wet deposition and by currents. The open Skagerrak sediment shows low contaminant concentrations except for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In the coastal areas PCB, PAH and some metals moderately contaminate the sediments. The biota in harbours and major estuaries contains levels higher than the backgroud level. The persistent organochlorine contaminants and organotins (TBT) represent the most serious problem, while PAH problems are limited to biota in coastal areas.Insufficient information is available of fish resources typical for Skagerrak and of the coastal recreational fishery. The most important species are, however, cod, herring, plaice and shrimp. The general impression is that resources in Skagerrak are overfished. The stocks of cod, herring and plaice are poor although being stable for the lanst 10 to 15 years. An exeption is the decreasing cod stock in some coastal areas. The shrimp stock is regarded as being within safe biological limits.About 70 programmes are presently running in Skagerrak, monitoring the environmental threats, while no programme is dedicated to bio-diversity. It is recommended to establish a formal Skagerrak committee, which can ralise improved collaboration, sampling, quality and information of the programmes. It is also recommended to establish a formal regional network, which should produce joint event monitoring, emergency services and common products.Presently, there exists a well-developed and co-ordinated system for monitoring, wanring and combating of oil spill ship accidents in the Skagerrak. Future improvements may be achieved taking into account better radar satellite data, introduction of automatic ship identification system - transponders, introduction of geographical information systems and much better preparedness practices.

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