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 Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

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: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>