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Saving the Baltic Sea

60,000 km2 of the Baltic Sea bottom has suffered from hypoxia Over the last decade, an average of 60,000 km2 of the Baltic Sea bottom has suffered from hypoxia without enough oxygen to support its normal ecosystem. Several large-scale geo-engineering interventions are currently on the table as proposed solutions to this problem. Researchers from Lund University are calling for geo-engineering efforts that mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic to be abandoned.In the June 28 edition of Nature, researchers warn of the unforeseen effects of geo-engineering to relieve the lack of oxygen in bottom waters. "Such radical remediation measures promise impressive improvements in water quality on short time scales. They are popular and politically attractive, but they are also potentially dangerous," says Daniel Conley a researcher at Lund University.Yet geo-engineering schemes are moving forwards. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management has announced a plan to build a demonstration wind-turbine-driven pump in the southern Baltic. This is a significant change in current policy to reduce nutrients to the Baltic Sea."We are on the pathway to a healthier marine ecosystem. We have scientific knowledge, an active monitoring and assessment program, political organizations in place such as HELCOM, and the countries have ...

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Green on Green: Shipping Threatens to Trouble Baltic Waters

Rapidly growing commercial vessel traffic increase the risk of ecological damage More than three centuries after Peter the Great gave Russia access to the world by founding St. Petersburg as a "window onto Europe" at the head of the Gulf of Finland, area ports handle more than one-third of all oil exports and more than half of the country's container cargo turnover.Sea traffic is growing at about 5 percent per year leading to a boom in onshore infrastructure development, corresponding stress to the environment and risk of ecological disaster."The main contamination of the world's oceans is not happening at oil rigs, or other places where oil is being extracted the share of such spills is only about 2 percent," said Valery Tsepelev, deputy head of the northwest branch of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, or Rosgidromet. The much greater risk comes from transportation, he said, mainly at the ports where oil is being loaded onto tankers.While three modern port facilities in the area have come online, the specific fragility of the Baltic and Russia's antiquated fleet keep the risks as high as the rewards."The Baltic Sea is no less threatened and vulnerable a zone than the Arctic," ...

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Baltic Sea States focus on maritime safety & security

Workshop in Helsinki on 15 May 2012 aims to identify the future challenges for maritime safety A workshop in Helsinki on 15 May 2012 aims to identify the future challenges for maritime safety in the Baltic Sea Region More and larger vessels will pass the Baltic Sea in the years to come, and therefore it is important to address the challenges for maritime safety which will follow in the wake of the increased vessel traffic. At a workshop in Helsinki, co-organised by the Danish Maritime Authority, the Baltic Sea States will for the first time jointly develop scenarios for the maritime safety and security in the region. Set the agenda for maritime safety The joint challenges of the Baltic Sea States call for joint solutions. At the workshop, the Danish participants in cooperation with delegates from other countries are expected to table a number of issues relating to maritime safety. That could be improved surveillance or information exchange among the countries, which often require joint decisions. Another example is the ongoing development of new and safer technology on board the ships, which in due time will require new infrastructure on land across national borders. At the same time, the countries ...

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OPDR Increases Presence in Baltic Sea Region

New strategic alliances in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Russia OPDR has extended its Baltic Sea Service (BALT) through the formation of new strategic alliances in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Russia. The new BALT Service is specifically designed to ensure a cohesive connection to all other OPDR services and provides both higher frequency and reduced transit times."The restructuring of our BALT service through the appointment of four very experienced new Agencies as well as agreements with partner lines gives our Baltic Sea traffic a clear profile and reinforces our presence in this market", states OPDR Trade Manager Matthias Gehle. The BALT service connects all OPDR destinations in North and South Europe as well as North Africa via Hamburg and Rotterdam with the Baltic Sea ports such as Oslo, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and Gdynia as well as the Baltic ports and St. Petersburg. "Thanks to our strong partners we can also offer our customers other ports in the Baltic Sea region as well as the whole west coast of Norway", says Matthias Gehle.North bound cargo will be carried by OPDR's own vessels to the ports of to Hamburg and Rotterdam. "Due to the smooth cooperation with our northern European partners we ...

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Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania and Georgia to Increase Efficiency of Marine Transport

Improving the efficiency of transport in the Baltic Sea - Black Sea areas Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania and Georgia will work to improve the efficiency of transport in the Baltic Sea - Black Sea areas with the use of combined Viking transport and the existing rail and train ferries. This agreement was reached during a ministerial council meeting held in Batumi.Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Vera Kobalia, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Infrastructure Boris Kolesnikov, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania Eligiyus Masiulis and Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of Belarus Alexander Shishkov attended the ministerial meeting.The transit issue is extremely important for Georgia and now there is an opportunity to establish a transit towards the Baltic and Black Sea areas, Kobalia told reporters on Wednesday."Today we need to work out the basic principles for the coordinated development of the rail-ferry service. To do this it's necessary to attract additional cargo and customer base, to form a competitive tariff policy and eliminate barriers to the successful development of transportation," she said. Kobalia said the necessary procedures for accession to the Agreement on the development of goods transportation in the areas of ...

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