Current information on algal blooms
Algal Bloom Monitoring August 30, 2012: Cyanobacterial amounts are low at sea, no changes in lake observations
Amounts of cyanobacteria are quite low at the Finnish sea areas. Low amounts of cyanobacteria have been observed in the Gulf of Finland, in the Archipelago Sea, and the Bothnian Sea. In lakes, the situation is better than typically during this time of the year. Cyanobacteria have been recorded from every fifth observation site.
The summer's weekly algal information ends this week. However, algal bloom monitoring will continue in the observation sites until the end of September. Information will be provided in case the algal bloom situation changes.
A nationwide algal monitoring network
Algal blooms are monitored at more than 300 permanent monitoring locations in the Baltic Sea and inland waters in all regions of Finland. These sites are chosen to be representative of different types of waters in terms of their depth, size, water quality and nutrient levels. Monitoring is carried out weekly from the beginning of June to mid September. The extent of blue-green algal blooms is first assessed by visual observation on a scale from 0 (no algae) to 3 (very abundant algal blooms). If algal blooms are clearly evident, samples are taken to allow the identification of the species involved.
Monitoring is mainly carried out by municipal environmental and health officials, but members of the public also help with this work. Observations from open marine waters are taken automatically by commercial ships. Additional information for open marine waters are obtained by remote sensing and visual observations submitted by the pilots of the Finnish Frontier Guard.
Monitoring harmful algae
Summer 2003. © Seppo Knuuttila
Finland’s environmental authorities closely monitor occurrences of blue-green algae, and have kept records of harmful blooms since the 1980s, with the help of samples submitted by officials and members of the public.
More systematic monitoring of harmful algal blooms began in 1998, and nowadays provides a comprehensive overview of the state of algal blooms throughout Finland's inland and coastal waters and the Baltic open sea area. Monitoring is organised jointly by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, municipal environmental officials and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).
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