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Case Study: Skagerrak Wrecks and Measures to Reduce the Environmental Risk

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The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) is responsible for monitoring the environmental risk created by shipwrecks in Norwegian waters. If the risk is found to be unacceptable, corrective measures will be recommended to the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affaires. Approval and funding of such corrective measures will be decided by the Ministry.

The NCA has been tasked to execute a program to find the shipwrecks that constitute the highest environmental risk from substances other than oil. The NCA’s Wreck Data Base (2,300 wrecks) is the basis for the study.

The emphasis of this article is on activities connected to ships loaded with chemical weapons (CWs) dumped in the Skagerrak. The article gives information on the surveys carried out by the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) in 1989 and 2002. A number of the wrecks containing CWs are unaccounted for. FFI recommended in the 2002 report that an effort should be made to find the remaining CW wrecks. To find and possibly identify the missing CW wrecks in Skagerrak, a search program will be developed. The NCA is testing a new concept this autumn: is it possible to identify a sunken ship by class or name based on information from an underwater vehicle? The test of FFI’s HUGIN 1000 HUS autonomous underwater vehicle is expected to provide information on the suitability of the vehicle in providing data for wreck location and identification.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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