North Sea

News on Economy | Consumption and Water

Environmentally friendly handling of fertiliser in ports

ship while handling fertilisers

Handling of fertilisers in German ports can cause nutrients to enter coastal waters. This can lead to oxygen depletion in the waters and have a severe adverse effect on living organisms. During transshipment, between 0.025 and 0.00000083 per cent of fertiliser can end up in the water. Protective covers between the ship and the quay wall and cleaning of the transshipment areas can counteract this. read more

News on Air, Water and Transport

Scrubber discharge bans would protect oceans

5 laboratory bottles with differently coloured liquid from transparent to brown-black.

The German Environment Agency has commissioned a project to study the effects of discharge water from exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) of ships on the marine environment. Scrubber discharge contains pollutants such as heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are classified as extremely hazardous. Discharge bans - at least regional - are recommended. read more


Indicator: Plastic waste in the North Sea

A graph shows the 5-year averages for 2002 to 2021 of the proportion of fulmars with stomachs containing over 0.1 grammes of plastic. The indicator has declined slightly and is at 49 %.

Since studies began, the stomachs of 88 % to 97 % beached fulmars have been found to contain plastics.Around 49 % of beached fulmars on the North Sea coasts have more than 0.1 grammes of plastic in their stomachs.The target set by the OSPAR convention is to reduce this to a maximum of 10 %. However, it may take a long time to reach this target.Large quantities of plastic waste still end up in the... read more

Indicator: Eutrophication of the North Sea/Baltic Sea by nitrogen

A graph shows the change in concentration of total nitrogen in all the main rivers which enter the North Sea and Baltic Sea in Germany. A distinction is made between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The concentration value is given as the moving average of the flows of the past 5 years in milligrams per litre.

To achieve the objectives for the protection of the marine environment, Germany has committed to comply with maximum concentrations of nitrogen at estuaries.On average for all rivers, these target concentrations are already met for the North Sea, but still exceeded for the Baltic Sea.Some of the North Sea and Baltic Sea tributaries still have very high concentrations.In order to fulfil the objecti... read more

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