When is shipping a problem?
Shipping poses a threat to marine ecosystems through both accidental and illegal oil spills, waste water dumping and air pollution. We’re working with all stakeholders involved to promote regulations and other solutions that will ensure pollution and sewage-free Baltic Sea now, and in the future. Shipping is often an environmentally friendly way of transporting goods and people but can also constitute a threat to marine ecosystems in several ways and carry a risk of both accidental and illegal pollution of the sea.
The Baltic Sea is one of the busiest seas in the world and shipping traffic is predicted to more than double in the next 20 years.
The Baltic Sea experiences on average one major shipping accident per year resulting in an oil spill larger than 100 tonnes. Forecasts indicate that oil transports in the Baltic Sea will increase substantially, which also increases the risk of major accidents. Oil spills can have devastating impacts on nature and wildlife. Birds are particularly vulnerable to oil slicks as even small amounts of oil can seriously harm bird populations, especially if oil spills occur in important bird areas during migration or breeding periods.
To ensure that oil discharges are detected, better surveillance is needed. Thanks to improved technical equipment, oil discharges are now more likely to be detected and current trends show that the number of oil spills in the Baltic Sea is decreasing.