Clearer Danish waters benefiting marine environment

February 26th, 2015

This article is more than 8 years old.

Water fowl, seal and otter populations also improving

The water in the fjords and seas are becoming increasingly clearer, according to a new NOVANA report from the National Environmental Research Institute.

The findings (here in Danish) – which are based on thousands of samples taken from the Danish nature and marine environments – revealed that the visibility in Danish waters has improved to its best level since researchers began keeping records in 1989.

”It takes time to change the condition of nature for the better, so there's a reason to be pleased about specific improvements such as in water visibility,” Kirsten Brosbøl, the environment minister, said.

”It means that light can reach deeper depths, which in turn influences the conditions of aquatic plants.”

READ MORE: Making Denmark wild again: the incentive, method and risk

Seals see improvement
The water visibility in open seas has increased from about seven metres in 1989 to 8.9 metres in 2013, while in fjords and coastal areas, the visibility is about 4.5 metres.

Many of the breeding birds are doing better too, such as the White-tailed Eagle and the Red Kite, while the otter, grey seal and harbour seal populations are also thriving.

The NOVANA programme consists of a number of measurement stations and control visits in the marine areas, and over 5,000 samples – everything from eelgrass and algae to oxygen content and nutrient salts – are taken every year. Further samples are taken every second and sixth year.

Aside from facts about the marine environment, the new report also reveals data about how air pollution affects nature and selected species such as breeding and migratory birds.


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