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Kerschl, Lara Johanna Katharina, 2023. Living in a lifeless sea : how the ecological degradation of the Baltic Sea is affecting people living in its coastal zone on Gotland. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Facing a number of different environmental problems, such as intense oxygen depletion, overfishing and various forms of marine pollution, the Baltic Sea is one of the most degraded seas on earth. While the aspects of its ecological degradation are well-researched, only few studies have focused on how the Baltic Sea’s state is affecting the 85 million people living in its coastal zone. Hence, the purpose of this study is to counteract this research gap with a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews, that draw on a diverse group of study participants from the island of Gotland. Phenomenological paradigms have been chosen to investigate and understand how people are affected by the Baltic Sea’s degradation in their lifeworlds from different perspectives. The findings reveal that interviewees experience the Baltic Sea’s degradation in various ways in their everyday lives, with the most common ones being the increase of algae blooms and pollution, as well as the contamination of fish with toxins. How they perceive these challenges is dependent on their background and on the life sphere out of which the interviewee’s interpretation takes place. Moreover, it has been found that most study participants do not perceive themselves impacted by the sea’s degrading state, while at the same time describing several influences it has on their lifeworlds. Coping strategies that have been developed as a response to the Baltic Sea’s state support this unawareness. Those particularly rely on technological advancements and prevent people from needing to make larger changes in their lives.

Main title:Living in a lifeless sea
Subtitle:how the ecological degradation of the Baltic Sea is affecting people living in its coastal zone on Gotland
Authors:Kerschl, Lara Johanna Katharina
Supervisor:Bartholdson, Örjan
Examiner:Sandström, Emil
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:Baltic Sea, ecological degradation, lifeworlds, Gotland, phenomenology
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Deposited On:09 Oct 2023 10:20
Metadata Last Modified:10 Oct 2023 01:03

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