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Blue green algae to make a comeback in the Baltic in summer 2005

May 6, 2005

One unpleasant thing about living along the coast of the Baltic Sea, especially in the Gulf of Finland area is the pollution in the sea. There have been numerous reports in the media that parts of the Gulf of Finland can be classified as “dead” because of extremely high levels of pollutants such as phosphorous and nitrogen. The threat of a major oil spill grows by the day as oil tanker traffic to and from Russia is set to increase dramatically over the next few years.

The one problem that has increased over the last few years is toxic blue-green algae, which appears in “mats” – and huge ones at that, over parts of the southern Gulf of Finland and in the southwestern archipelago. In very small amounts it is harmless, but if ingested it can make a person quite sick. It can kill your pet if it drinks from the sea. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but if you come to a beach in the capital area and the authorities say that its closed – they really mean it! The best advice I can give is make sure you rinse off after swimming in the Baltic Sea and don’t let your pet drink sea water. Last year beaches in the capital area (Helsinki) were closed a few times due to high levels of blue-green algae. The authorities are on top of the issue and generally keep the public well-informed.

This year the prediction for the presence blue-green algae is a certainty, but it won’t be present in the levels that were seen last summer. If we have a hot summer in Finland that could change however. Here’s an interesting link to the Helsinki Commission http://www.helcom.fi/ and to the Finnish Institute of Marine Research http://www.fimr.fi/en.html. (May 9 – There was a story about this in Helsingin Sanomat and they provided a more direct link to information about blue-green algae http://www.fimr.fi/en/itamerikanta/levatiedotus.html)

p.s. The WHC games in Austria have been fantastic! It’s so nice to see some of the mid-level teams scaring the hebejebes (how do you spell that??) out of the big guns! Finland’s loss to Sweden was of a course a huge disappointment and Canada’s win over the US was sweet. Let’s see how things pan out in round 2 over the weekend…

Until next time… It’s Friday!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2010 1:27 am

    When i visit a blog, chances are that i get disappointed.On the other hand,I have to say that you have done a good job here.

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