The sick fish website

OCEANA, the international organisation devoted to protecting the world’s oceans, has launched a website to gather data on unwell fish in the Baltic Sea.
The aim of the website is to compile information on the issue of sick, dead and disappearing fish in the Baltic Sea. Oceana invites authorities, stakeholders, the public and organisations to report these incidents.
The creation of a database such as this will hopefully increase available knowledge and help researchers and authorities to carry out further studies on this worrying issue.
Reports from fishermen, coastal citizens and government authorities of poor water quality, dying or sick fish as well as fish stocks ‘disappearing’ from the coast have been frequently occurring in the media in recent years.
This has also been confirmed by Oceana’s research expeditions in the Baltic Sea where dead, abnormal, or fish in a very poor status, have been encountered.
Investigations by governments in particularly problematic areas, such as Hanö Bay in Sweden, have been carried out, but no one has yet made an attempt to examine this problem from a pan Baltic Sea perspective, something that Oceana highly encourages.
‘During Oceana’s research expeditions to different parts of the Baltic Sea, particularly high numbers of fish that were either dead, abnormal or in very poor condition were recorded compared to our expeditions made in other parts of the world,’ states Hanna Paulomaki, Project Manager at Oceana’s Baltic Sea office.
‘Unfortunately the extent and causes of this worrying problem are mostly unknown, so with this website we want to draw a clearer picture of this phenomenon. Therefore it is crucial to collect as much information as possible.’
The website contains a map showing where Oceana has encountered fish in a poor condition, along with images of their observations of this issue during previous expeditions and a collection of related media reports.
On the website, Oceana invites those who have observed sick, dead or dying fish in the Baltic Sea to report their observations, with images if possible.
These reports will then be added to the map, to gather all available information into one place. Visit the website at http://bit.ly/1tiXdiu

Fish Leeches (Piscicola geometra) in European Flounder (Platichthys flesus) Eastern Gotland Basin, Sweden © OCEANA/ Carlos Minguell

Fish Leeches (Piscicola geometra) in European Flounder (Platichthys flesus) Eastern Gotland Basin, Sweden © OCEANA/ Carlos Minguell