Search press releases

SwAM’s assessment of the Swedish marine environment complete

As part of its work to implement the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) has been assessing the status of the Swedish marine environment. SwAM issued a press release on the 29th of November about the results of that assessment.

The areas covered are Skagerrak, the Kattegat, the Sound (Öresund) and the Baltic Sea. This assessment is the basis for future national work to achieve the goal of good environmental status in Swedish marine areas by 2020. This year’s assessment of the marine environment is an update of the assessment carried out in 2012. The assessment is based on environmental data from the years 2011-2016 on, among other things, eutrophication, hazardous substances, fish and shellfish, and marine debris.

In the SwAM press release, Mia Dahlström, a head of department at SwAM, comments:
Our marine environments are generally not in very good health and the status of some marine species is critical, for example the Baltic cod. Eutrophication continues to be a major problem despite nutrient inputs being reduced.”

Although nutrient inputs to the sea have decreased, large quantities of nutrients are stored in the seabed and leach back into the water, driving eutrophication.

SwAM also considers the fishing of a number of species of fish and shellfish to be unsustainable in the long term. Fishing also has an indirect impact on the ecosystem, for example, by affecting the role of fish species in the ecosystem and through unwanted by-catches. However, fish stocks are also being negatively affected by other environmental problems, including eutrophication and physical disturbances at spawning sites and in nursery areas.

Human activity has long put immense pressure on the sea, and that’s something that still continues today. That is why we need to reverse the trend,” says Mia Dahlström.

There are some positive signs, however, with levels of hazardous substances having decreased and a healthy Baltic herring stock.

Read the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management’s press release here (only in Swedish).