Earlier this week a pan-European Colloquium on the Challenges of Unexploded Munitions in the Sea took place (20 February 2019, Brussels) organised by the European Commission DG MARE, in cooperation with the European External Action Service (EEAS).
Munitions dumped on the seabed represent a global source of concern for countries, Regional and International Organizations, researchers, etc. These can include weapons such as unexploded bombs, including chemical weapons that were dumped after World Wars I and II. These pose a threat to the marine environment, human health, and represent a real challenge to blue economic activities and marine spatial planning, not to mention the risks associated in removing those munitions and technical issues faced in the disposal.
It is thought that at least 40K of chemical warfare is dumped in the Baltic Sea, and this amount is likely to be far higher considering the full European seas and oceans. This statement is illustrated in our “Map of the week” on armaments, weapons and ammunition discharged at sea. In the map, you can identify points or polygons representing conventional, chemical or unknown munitions. As an example, the yellow polygons in the Baltic Sea represent data collected, which confirms the presence of chemical munitions in that sea-basin.
To further reflect on the challenges of munitions in the sea, we invite you to consult the European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS) Action Plan. The PPT presentations of the Colloquium will also be available in the coming days. In the meantime, explore our map by clicking on the link below.
Data displayed in this map were provided by EMODnet Human Activities.
For more background information on EU maritime security, you can consult: https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/maritime-security_en