The Joint Action “Munition in the Sea” aims to support policy and operational activities in tackling the challenge of the unexploded ordnances at sea. Implemented as Knowledge Hub, it shares scientific and technological expertise and works on the delivery of a knowledge exchange platform that enables operators and responsible authorities in the participating countries an efficient handling of problematic underwater munitions.
With these objectives in mind, the activities started in 2015 and focus on:
- increasing the awareness at political level,
- structuring the cooperation between the experts and promoting funding of projects and solutions,
- providing an interface to allow operators to scout for information and solutions.
The Knowledge Hub provides accessible information on scientific results, practices, and technologies.
It delivers services and products on four different focus topics:
- Management of underwater munition;
- Mapping and evaluation of underwater munition;
- Environmental pathways, impact and toxicity and
- Remediation methods.
Science Support: provision of services to support operators and provide risk-assessment, through use of 3D numerical models to provide meaningful data for the risks effect of shallow/deep water explosions, chemical leakage, diver visibility, sediment transport; impacts of blast waves and underwater sounds generated from controlled and spontaneous detonations; estimate of corrosion phenomena and consequences; recognition and identification of munition, increasing the accuracy and efficiency in the post-processing of sonar and visual data.
Technology Transfer: technology transfer and development of new technologies for high resolution seabed mapping, acoustic, magnetic and visual, measure sea conditions and marine ecosystems; mitigate effects of blast waves and underwater sounds from controlled detonations on marine life and infrastructure; autonomous and robotic systems, chemical sensors for aquatic systems and assessment of health of marine ecosystems; safety conditions for operations on the sea floor along with confirmed procedures to monitor the release of toxic compounds; protect current infrastructure and improve safety for new infrastructure; avoid the introduction of potentially harmful chemicals into the human food web via aquaculture facilities; improving defence and national security.
Exchange of Practices and Knowledge: science–to–policy transfer, with knowledge support to select best options; improvement of existing knowledge base, method standardisation and intercalibration; exchange of practices, standardisation of guidelines; improvement of personal skills of experts.
Many coastal areas in Europe face the presence of munitions in the sea. For example, almost 150 former munition-dumping grounds are known in the northeast Atlantic and the North Sea alone. The growing environmental harm and risk from a combination of hazardous corroding munition and intensified blue economic activities, increase the urgency to dispose of these contaminated sites without harming the environment and ecosystem. Technologies for the remediation of the munitions exist but are cost-intensive, time-consuming and require the use and further development of state-of-the-art sensors. The JPI Oceans Knowledge Hub on Munition in the Sea addresses such issues through trans-national pan-European collaboration.
The coordinator is Claus Böttcher who worked for the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalization in Germany.
List of nominated experts in the Knowledge Hub:
- Tine Missiaen, Flanders Marine Institute, BE
- Kim Lundgreen, Ministry of Environment of Denmark, DK
- Hans Sanderson, Aarhus University, DK
- Claus Böttcher, Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalization, DE
- Edmund Maser, Kiel University, DE
- Jens Greinert, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, DE
- Martin Ludvigsen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO
- Endre Grimsbø, The Arctic University of Norway, NO
- Helle K Rossland, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment,NO
- Petter H. Kvadsheim Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, NO
- Jacek Bełdowski, Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, PL
- Anders Tengberg, Gothenburg University, SE
- Andreas Lindhe, Chalmers University of Technology, SE
- Gunnar Möller, COM Mine Warfare Data Center, SE
- Anders Östin, Swedish Defence Research Agency, SE
- Fredrik Lindgren, Swedish Defence Research Agency, SE