How polluted is our North Sea? | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

How polluted is our North Sea?

Oostende (2023.05.15) – Despite the large amount of litter and alarming greenhouse gas emissions, the North Sea is a lot cleaner today than, say, a few decades ago. There is less oil pollution, beach water is generally of good bathing quality and pollution by various heavy metals has been greatly reduced. Yet, there is still work to be done. On the one hand, persistent historical pollution remains in the form of all kinds of organic pollutants. On the other hand, there is the large amount of litter and the still poorly known effects of microplastics, and new pollutants are emerging. Also the threat of rising CO2 levels and the associated effects of warming, ocean acidification and sea level rise. To mark World Ocean Day, six experts give their views in a lecture series of Pint of Science in Oostende (22, 23 and 24 May – in Dutch).