The slow death of the Baltic Sea

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The slow death of the Baltic Sea

In the Baltic there are 161 species of fish, mainly bony fish except three species of lampreys and two species of rays. The population of this sea is composed of both marine and freshwater species, the latter limited to less salty basins.

There are also some species introduced for fishing or accidentally. Only one fish species is endemic to the Baltic: the flatfish Platichthys solemdali, described in 2018. The Baltic Sea is an inland sea of ​​the North Atlantic Ocean and is located in northeastern Europe, surrounded by the Scandinàva Peninsula, the mainland of Central and Eastern Europe and the Danish Islands.

It flows into the Kattegat and the North Sea passing through the Danish islands in three straits, the Øresund, the Little Belt and the Great Belt. Five major rivers flow into it: the Oder, the Vistula, the Njemen, the Daugava (or Western Dvina) and the Neva.

The coasts also tend to freeze in winter, especially during particularly cold weather events. But today the Baltic Sea is slowly dying due to extreme temperatures and pollution. Over the years, while collecting fish samples for researchers, he has witnessed this climate change.

Salmon and cod, once abundant in the Baltic Sea, are becoming increasingly rare. Species are dying out not only due to overfishing, but also because their breeding grounds have shrunk. Scientists claim that, at depths greater than 80 meters, the Baltic Sea is already considered a dead zone, as the amount of oxygen is not enough for living organisms.

Juris Aigars, a researcher at the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, said about the pollution of the Baltic Sea: "It is worrying, also considering that at the moment no one is really doing anything serious to preserve it.

It is mainly thought about finding new ways to obtain some economic benefit. " Ivars Putnis, a researcher at the Bior Scientific Institute, said: “These large-scale water inflows were fairly regular in the last century, but in the last few decades they have all but disappeared and today there are only a few consistent water inflows.

Basically, these. Inflows of saltier, more oxygenated water from the North Sea allowed the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea to breathe. It is one of the factors why it is in such bad shape today. "