Damage to the Vejle Fjord Coastal Ecosystem That Has Been Intolerable

Damage to the Vejle Fjord Coastal Ecosystem That Has Been Intolerable

Damage to the Vejle Fjord Coastal Ecosystem That Has Been Intolerable. Baltic Sea in northern Europe. The nature is enchanting, and it is a tourist destination that many people like. Vejle Fjord Beach is one of the most expensive residential areas in Denmark. But this beautiful appearance is deceiving. Fisherman Lasse Mikkelsen goes fishing once a week. He experienced firsthand how the fjord gradually died. Below the surface of the water, algae grows uncontrollably making the water cloudy and fish and aquatic plants don’t get oxygen and light.

At the bottom of the fjord there are no living creatures anymore, scientists’ footage shows. In the past, various types of fish lived in coastal areas. Actually, Lasse Mikkelsen wanted to earn extra money for his pension by becoming a fisherman. Now he would rather never have to fish again. It’s a mix of anger and frustration, because no one is doing anything. “I think the authorities are trying to blame other parties. Especially Danish farmers who own land several kilometers from the fjord, who Mikkelsen blames.” he said. | In Denmark, which has a population of only about six million people, the population of cows and pigs is twice the population. Many farmers use large amounts of fertilizer, which ends up in the ocean. Christian Madsen cultivates land located several kilometers from the ocean. He said he had reduced the use of phosphates and nitrates as much as possible. With the help of satellite recordings, he monitors which plants need fertilizer and which have received enough fertilizer. But it is impossible to stop using fertilizer completely.

“I think it’s good that the amount of nitrate is being reduced. But I think the minimum limit has been reached. We farmers have reached the limit that we can accept. Plants need food. Otherwise, plants cannot grow.” said the farmer. Since he reduced fertilizer, his plants only use the fertilizer that is already in the soil.

Mads Christensen is aware of the region’s dilemma. He is a biologist responsible for rebuilding the ecosystem in the Vejle Fjord. He knows all the arguments and facts. We now know that 80% of the nutrients that land in the Vejle Fjord come from the surrounding agricultural land. About 10% comes from urban waste and the remaining 10% from fish farming. That’s a guide to what we have to deal with.

Due to high nitrate levels, algae is increasingly rampant. Algae covers everything in the fjord. Seaweed also doesn’t get any more light so it eventually dies. In fact, seaweed is an important element in the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Seaweed produces oxygen and provides habitat for small fish. Therefore, Christensen and his team replanted the fjord area with seaweed.

The renaturalization project is very complicated. They also create new coral reefs and plant coral plants. This allows more light to come in, and all the elements work well together. But it could all be damaged again in a short time, if too much fertilizer flows into the sea and algae grows wild again.

Biologist Christensen’s concerns cover an area wider than the fjord. “We have now reached the limit. Five to six years ago the system was broken, and that was just the beginning. We will see this situation throughout the Baltic Sea.” Christensen said| Fisherman Lasse Mikkelsen hopes that all parties will as soon as possible take responsibility for saving the fjord. Because Denmark is now looking for a solution to a problem that already threatens the entire coastal area on the shores of the Baltic Sea.