The Helsinki International Boat Show 2018 joins the effort to save the Baltic Sea

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In 2018, the partner of the Helsinki International Boat Show is the John Nurminen Foundation, renowned for its cultural projects and work protecting the Baltic Sea with dozens of Clean Baltic Sea projects launched during the past ten years. The Boat Show wants to join the effort to save the Baltic Sea, and will make Baltic Sea protection a highly visible theme in the programme and stands of the exhibition. One of the themes of the event is Clean Baltic Sea. The Helsinki International Boat Show will take place from 9th to 18th February 2018 at the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre.

During the past ten years, the John Nurminen Foundation has launched 25 Clean Baltic Sea projects, of which 17 have been completed. Boaters are by no means the greatest polluters of the Baltic Sea. Nevertheless, the Boat Show will share information on how each and every boater can do his/her part and make a difference in the wellbeing of the environment and the Baltic Sea. Small streams make a mighty river. Increasing awareness of the Baltic Sea is very important, and the larger the group of people joining the effort to protect the Baltic Sea, the better will be our results. You can calculate your own Baltic Sea footprint at www.johnnurmisensaatio.fi/itamerilaskuri (only in Finnish).

During the past ten years, boaters have witnessed an improvement in the status of the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland in particular. The John Nurminen Foundation has excelled in reducing major discharge sources, and played a key role in blocking the two sources that generated the greatest load to the Gulf of Finland: the St. Petersburg wastewater overhaul that took a decade to complete, and bringing to an end the enormous discharges of the Fosforit fertilizer factory reduced the annual phosphate load entering the Gulf of Finland by approximately 4,000 tonnes. In other words, the volume of eutrophication-inducing phosphorus entering the Gulf of Finland from external sources has been reduced by 75%, which is a tremendous accomplishment.

Even though the greatest sources of discharges within the catchment area of the Gulf of Finland have now been fixed, it is still possible to reduce the phosphorus load even further in this area.

Marjukka Porvari, the director in charge of the Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects, says: ‘once the John Nurminen Foundation completes its project in the city of Kingisepp, it may not be worthwhile to begin any new projects in northwestern Russia, as the extent to which they would benefit the status of the Gulf of Finland would be quite limited. There is still a lot to do in Finland, and in the entire catchment area of the Baltic Sea. One particularly promising method to reduce phosphorus runoff from agriculture is the gypsum treatment of farmed fields: the University of Helsinki is in the process of testing this method in connection with the Foundation-led NutriTrade project. Our Local Fishing project, implemented in the regional waters of Finland, is another very promising initiative, where underused cyprinid fish is fished in a targeted manner. In the entire catchment area of the Baltic Sea, our focus continues to be on point loads entering the main basin from Poland and Belarus, and curbing the discharges from industry.

CONCERN OVER OXYGEN LEVELS IN THE DEEP WATERS OF THE BALTIC SEA MAIN BASIN

In early September, the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) published the results from the Miina research vessel’s journey late in the summer. Senior Research Scientist Seppo Knuuttila commented that the current status of the Gulf of Finland is not likely to improve any further if the oxygen levels in the deep waters of the Baltic Sea main basin do not show significant improvement, as that would, in turn, reduce the eutrophication-inducing phosphate phosphorus reserves considerably. Phosphorus discharges from cities and industry have, when taking into account Russia and Estonia, been reduced by over 90% compared to the levels of the early 1980s, and even nitrogen loads are down by more than 60%. The potential for reducing phosphorus loads further is today only about 5% of the volume that has already been implemented in the past 40 years. Our work bears fruit, but in order to speed up the recovery of the Baltic Sea, we should now evaluate any and all methods, including technical solutions, that could be applied alongside current marine protection methods’, says Knuuttila.

At the same time as we strive to put an end to the remaining load sources, Knuuttila encourages the scientific community, Baltic Sea stakeholders, and companies to be brave and bold in surveying methods that could be used to tackle the phosphorus reserves that are already in the sea. The Foundation is currently preparing a new project which looks into the possibilities of dissolving the nutrient reserves that are located in the bottom of the sea.

Commissioned by the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat, the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre organises the Helsinki International Boat Show, the largest boating event in Northern Europe, on 9th to 18th February 2018 in Messukeskus, Helsinki. The Boat Show is now organised for the 49th time. The 2018 Boat Show will showcase the operations of the John Nurminen Foundation by making Clean Baltic Sea the theme of the event. The main partner of the Boat Show is Volvo Car Finland Oy AB. www.venemessut.fi

The mission of the John Nurminen Foundation, established in 1992, is to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage for future generations. The objective of the Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects is to improve the status of the Baltic Sea with concrete measures that reduce the nutrient load and environmental risks faced by the sea. The Clean Baltic Sea projects are financed with private donations and public funding. www.puhdasitameri.fi www.johnnurmisensaatio.fi

MORE INFORMATION:

Helsinki International Boat Show / Messukeskus:
Teija Armanto, Communications Manager
teija.armanto(at)messukeskus.com
Tel. +358 50 3760804

www.venemessut.fi #venemessut #puhdasitameri
Pictures from the Boat Show at http://mediabank.messukeskus.com

John Nurminen Foundation:
Tuula Putkinen, Communications Director
tuula.putkinen(at)jnfoundation.fi
Tel. +358 400 907 809

Minna Korpela, Director, Fundraising
minna.korpela(at)jnfoundation.fi
Tel. +358 40 508 6015