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Are nutrient concentrations in European transitional, coastal and marine waters decreasing?

Policy Question
Indicator codes: CSI 021 , MAR 005
This is an old version, kept for reference only.

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Key messages

(04 Nov 2014)

Between 1985 and 2012, most stations in European Seas that reported to the EEA showed no change in trends of concentrations of Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) or orthophosphate. In addition, a decrease in concentrations was observed for 14% and 13% respectively, while only a minority of stations showed an increase.

These trends mostly refer to stations in the northeast Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea, however, due to lack of reported data for other regional seas. Available data shows nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations are decreasing in the southern North Sea which is an area with a recognised eutrophication problem. In the Baltic Sea, also affected by eutrophication, nitrogen concentrations are decreasing but phosphate concentrations show an increase at some stations. 

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