The brown algae has been seen on the coasts of Fyn in particular, but according to the Danish Fishing Association, it has also been reported in Aarhus, Bornholm and Vejle Fjord.
Stiig Markager, professor at the Department of Ecoscience at Aarhus University explained to TV2 Fyn that solid surfaces such as stones and ropes are covered by a “furry coat” of algae.
“At some point, they become loose and turn into a lot of brown slime that lies on the water and eventually drifts onto the beach and rots and smells”, he said.
The reason there is so much fedtemøg around, could be because of a lot of rain in February, followed by a very sunny Spring.
“Many nutrients came out of the water from the streams, just as we entered Spring with lot of hours of sunshine, so the algae started to grow,” Markager explained.
He stressed that it is not toxic, but signs of an unbalanced marine environment with too many nutrients. The solution he said is to reduce agricultural emissions.
Since the end of June, Greve Municipality has cleaned the beach twice a week to get rid of the greasy manure.
“It is effective when you remove it. But there is a lot of fat manure, brown algae and seaweed in Køge Bay. So if the wind changes direction, the beach is covered again after two hours,” the chairman of the Climate, Technology and Environment Committee in Greve Municipality, Hans-Jørgen Kirstein, told newswire Ritzau.
After it is all collected by a machine called “Fedtegreven”, environmental samples have to be taken and then it is driven away – in Greve’s case to a local farmer who can use it for manure.
“It’s fine, it comes away from the beach, but the smell is a nuisance for those who live there, and problems with seaweed flies”, Hans-Jørgen Kirstein said.
He would like alternative solutions for controlling the fedtemøg to be looked at. Greve Municipality removes about 9000 tons of the fat manure every year on a stretch of almost six kilometres.