Gothenburg port Authority starts major eelgrass replanting project
The Gothenburg Port Authority has started replanting 1.7 hectares of eelgrass beds to compensate for the eelgrass that will disappear when the port is building a new terminal. It is the largest replantion of eelgrass ever in Sweden, and at the end of june, the project went from theory to practice when two test plants were carried out just outside the port, the company said in its press release.
Re-planting eelgrass is a time-consuming job as the plants need to be planted one-by-one. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.
The largest port in Scandinavia is growing. A new ro-ro and container terminal is due to be built beside the present ro-ro terminal at Arendal - the largest planned expansion initiative at the Port of Gothenburg since the 1970s.
On the site of the new terminal there are currently 1.7 hectares of eelgrass*. To ensure eelgrass volumes are maintained in the Gothenburg Archipelago, the Port of Gothenburg will plant the same amount of eelgrass at another location in the vicinity.
Unfortunately, planting eelgrass is no easy task. The method that produces the best result is both expensive and time-consuming. One shoot at a time is planted by hand. It may be slow, but it is the approach research has shown works best.
The replanting of eelgrass is carried out in collaboration with marine biologists at Marine Monitoring. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and the County Administrative Board are also involved in the project. The investment is part of the environmental compensation commitment that the Port of Gothenburg agreed to when it was granted an environmental permit to expand the port.
Eelgrass meadows act as protection and as a spawning ground for several fish species. Eelgrass also helps to improve water quality and safeguards beaches against erosion. Eutrophication, overfishing and exploitation in coastal areas have resulted in the disappearance of many eelgrass meadows.