The Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea is not only one of the most unique but also one of the most polluted seas in the world. One fifth of the sea consists of dead zones. Those are sea wastelands that exhibit no signs of life.

The prime cause of such pollution is agriculture, due to which huge amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus leak into the sea. These agricultural wastes lead to eutrophication (accelerated aging of water bodies) and thus a series of irreversible changes in the ecosystem. Irresponsible fishing practices, sea transport, and various port development projects negatively affect the sea environment. If we do not change our practices, we will lose the sea.

In an attempt to preserve a more beautiful and diverse Baltic Sea for the future generations in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Fund for Nature seeks to reduce the levels of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea and conserve its resources. We pay special attention to reducing agricultural and laundry wastes and protecting fishing grounds. In these matters, we actively cooperate and exchange information with the World Wildlife Fund, our partners in the Baltic region, and members of the organizational network “Ocean 2012.”

The Fund forcefully seeks to change the existing agricultural practices. In tandem with other Baltic Sea countries, we are organizing the international competition, “The Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award.” We are aiming at reducing local pollution by restoring marshes that absorb the contaminants of neighboring farms and by restoring model farms that would serve to extract biomass from wetlands.

In its effort to help resolve the world-wide problem of the overexploitation of fisheries, the Lithuanian Fund for Nature supports a responsible use of sea resources. To its sea users, the Fund has prepared a guidebook that in detail describes the main types of fish sold in our country’s markets and includes clear guidelines on the consumption of this fish. The Fund recommends buying local fish and products that have the ecolabel of the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council). It tries to engage local restaurant and store chains in this campaign.