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Kjell Larsson examines conflicts between shipping and protection of sensitive marine environments

22 September 2017

What are the conflicts between protecting our sensitive marine environments while ensuring the need for shipping? Kjell Larsson devotes himself to this, he is a professor at Kalmar Maritime Academy, Linnaeus University.

- I work with shipping environmental impacts, how shipping affects the marine environment and what we can do to reduce shipping's negative environmental impact. A large part of the research within shipping is about improving the performance of ships and it is very important that we reduce emissions from individual ships, we use scrubbers, we improve the engines to reduce emission from individual ships. We have better ballast water management so we get less emissions of foreign organisms,Kjell Larsson, 

- But what's important to add is that when we look at the consequences of different emissions from shipping, we must also include the timeframe and the geographical aspect. Because a small amount of oil spill in an area that houses hundreds of thousands of wintering seabirds, that oil spill can kill 50,000 birds in one day, while the same oil spill further away does not leave any noticeable effects at all.

- So, do not forget about the time and place factor when you talk about effects of different emissions. More specifically, how are we going to have our shipping routes? Should we change them? Should we concentrate the vessels or have them more dispersed?

What do you see as the next step in your work?

- In the coming years, I will look more closely at the coastal areas of Sweden and see where we can expect more shipping and where we have our sensitive marine areas, and make different types of risk assessments

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