To celebrate the Baltic Sea Day on August 25th, we turn our gaze to the Finnish coastline and the concrete actions that can benefit the sea that belongs to us all.
Our unique sea
The Baltic Sea is one of the largest brackish inland seas in the world. As a marginal sea, the water exchange is extremely slow; on average, its entire water content changes only once in every 30 years. It is precisely this nature of Baltic Sea as an almost closed habitat that makes it so vulnerable to outer threats. One of those outer threats is microplastic pollution.
Thousands of tons of microplastics end up in the Baltic Sea each year
The term ‘microplastic’ (mikromuovi in Finnish) was first introduced by a marine biologist Richard Thompson, in 2004. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, microplastic is any type of plastic having a size of less than 5mm.
Microplastics come from a variety of sources, such as sewage treatment plants, paper and packaging industry, fishing, agriculture, cosmetic industry, and clothing manufacturing. The more plastic used in society, the greater the amount of microplastics in the sea.
While there are various knowledge gaps in the effects of microplastics, a report from Swedish Örebro University presents findings from various parts of the world that clearly show that microplastics can damage marine animals and hurt the important ecosystem services that seas provide.
Cutting the flow of plastics is key
The best way to tackle microplastic pollution is to prevent it from ever happening. All our efforts should be put into preventive actions, because once microplastic is in the sea, we have no way of taking it out again.
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The Baltic Sea Day, launched and coordinated by the John Nurminen Foundation, is celebrated every year on the last Thursday in August with various rallies and events. The goal of the theme day is to highlight important marine themes and encourage people to take concrete action for the Baltic Sea. The Day celebrates the versatility and immeasurable value of the Sea. Moreover, the celebration seeks to disseminate information on marine nature, culture, and history. In 2022 the Baltic Sea Day is celebrated on August 25th. www.balticseaday.fi