In old photos you could see fishing boats, loaded with fish from a day trip. Herrings, Mackerel, Cods, Horn fish, Salmons and a lot of other species - photos of a time long gone.
Today things have changed 200% - political decisions made in the name of progress, have created a sad development, regarding the water quality in the whole region.
I remember my youth, we caught heaps of fish every day with our rods, we could easy catch between 40-70 cods on a good nights fishing. Today the cod is more or less gone from the whole region, very sad. Have a look at this graph published in 2002, showing the development in the cod stock from 1971 - 2001 in Kattegat (a small ocean).
- and the weight in brood-stock (yellow graph)
What happened more precisely?? - it's simple - the oceans became the sewers for every thinkable thing we needed to abolish - "out of sight, out of our minds".
One of the biggest problems in this region, are the many different political governments, all with a different sight on how to make the right priorities.
And sadly we humans always have a tendency to make money the most obvious first priority.The result in a long term, is of course an environmental chaos, with one big loser at the end - us humans, and our children in generations to come!!!.
That caos is showing it's ugly face already - and very clearly!!! - simply because it is a fact that every warm summer we have, and these day that is quite often, a massive explosion of green algae is a reality - a disgusting reality!!!
Why does this happen - what is the biological explanation of this phenomena ??
When nutrients and nitrogen from fertilizing and industry, are washed out into small rivers and lakes, and then runs in the oceans, as a result of a wet and rain full spring period, followed by a warm summer, then we get a dangerous cocktail, that turns our oceans into a " " thick green oatmeal" - witch is quite disgusting, to use a mild term !!!
These pictures are shot a warm summer day in 2006 i Øresund (a little ocean between Kattegat and The baltic sea), where I live very close by.
From a distance it looked like a "tempting Caribbean ocean" - but when you got close, it was a whole different story. The pictures speak for themselves !!!!!! :o/
The level of oxygen in a healthy marine environment should be around 8-10 mg. per liter ocean water. The definition of a serious oxygen deficiency is when the level drops to under 4 mg. per liter of sea water. If it drops even more, to a level around 2 mg. - then we are talking about a serious situation, and fish in these areas will try to escape, before they die!!.
This next graph from 2001 shows the oxygen level measured in Kattegat - 10 years ago!!!!!
How this situation is going to evolve in the future are hard to predict, but I pay for a much higher political willingness among all of the countries in this region - but also for much more awareness among us humans as well, simply because we are the ones who vote for the politicians, who are going to make the necessary decisions, for the future perspectives of this region!!!
One thing is for sure - it is an extremely fragile situation!!! - and once we spoiled the ecosystem, it probably never will recover 100%.
We have to look at our oceans in a much more holistic way, and as very important recourse for all of us - and our future generations. Hopefully we will, but I'm not too optimistic, I must admit!!
If you want to learn more about the situation in the region - then here are some relevant danish links :
1) DMU's rapport archive on the subject (english version is available on site) : http://www.dmu.dk/Vand/Havmiljoe/Iltsvind/Arkiv/
3) A description in Gyldendals lexicon (in danish) http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Natur_og_milj%C3%B8/Milj%C3%B8_og_forurening/Vandmilj%C3%B8,_spildevand_og_olieforurening/iltsvind