Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Leisure boats threaten the Swedish West Coast archipelago

22.10.2012
The number of leisure boats along the Swedish West Coast has risen dramatically over the last 20 years, resulting in a risk that the inner archipelago might be destroyed. These are the findings of new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

In Sannäs Fjord, a silled fjord to the north of Grebbestad in Bohuslän, researchers from the University of Gothenburg have studied the marine environment in the inner archipelago and built a treatment plant for flushing water from the washing of boats with painted hulls in connection with the autumn haul-out.

Researchers have also given courses to those bringing boats ashore and to the people responsible for ports and the environment in coastal municipalities.

There have been significant increases in both the number of leisure boats and in boat traffic in recent decades, with definite negative consequences for the environment. There are currently around 25,000 berths in Northern Bohuslän alone. Researchers therefore believe that it is very important to slow down this trend significantly and to limit emissions from leisure boats in our most sensitive fjords and archipelagos.

“The toxic, anti-fouling hull paints on the boats release both heavy metals and toxic substances to prevent growth on the boats. Motor boats also emit large amounts of noxious hydrocarbons and acidifying substances into the water through their exhaust fumes, which have increased as boats have become greater in number and are fitted with more powerful engines that also consume more fuel,” says Kjell Nordberg, who is Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Gothenburg and is in charge of the project.

Fjords and protected inner archipelagos act as sedimentation basins or sediment traps, in which heavy metals and organic environmental toxins contaminate and accumulate with sediments on the sea floor in fjords and estuaries.

Problems with pollutants in our inner archipelagos and fjords are particularly widespread in Sweden compared with many other European countries, where strong tides bring in fresh, new bottom-water twice a day.

“It’s a worrying trend bearing in mind that the number of boats is rising all the time, with increasingly powerful engines that consume more and more petrol. The situation at present is already very precarious,” says Kjell Nordberg.

When marine geologist Kjell Nordberg examined various sediment samples in the Sannäs Fjord in Tanum, he discovered not only high levels of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals, but also a lack of oxygen in the beds during late summer and autumn in virtually the whole fjord, even in shallow waters.

“You could tell from the occasionally black sediments, laminations and bacterial mats that this has been going on since the 1990s. There’s not much alive here in the summer,” says Kjell Nordberg.

The lack of oxygen started back in the late 1980s, when there was a dramatic rise in leisure boat activity. This may have contributed to the fact that there are now virtually no demersal fish left in the inner archipelago.

“I don’t think many boat owners are aware of the correlation between exhaust emissions and the environmental destruction of the sea. Just because people have more four-stroke engines nowadays, most of us boat owners think everything’s OK, but that’s not the case at all,” says Kjell Nordberg.

Researchers are calling for new ways of owning boats, such as introducing boat pools and launching options based further out from the coast, so that not all boat owners begin their trips with a long, polluting journey through the inner archipelago. Another possibility is to have boat hotels and storage locations on land where boats can be “parked” without any toxic anti-fouling hull paint when they are not in use.

Contact:
Kjell Nordberg, Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg
Tel.: +46 (0)31-786 28 61, +46 (0)706-37 05 96,
kjell.nordberg@gvc.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>