Explosive ordnance contamination in the North Sea and Baltic Sea
In addition to the growing utilisation of marine areas in the North Sea and Baltic Sea for the energy transition, an increasing use by commercial shipping, cruise tourism and pleasure craft has also been observed in recent years. Many of these heavily frequented areas in the North Sea and Baltic Sea were used after the Second World War specifically as dumping sites for munitions and are therefore severely contaminated with explosive ordnance as follows:
- About 900,000 sea mines from the First and Second World War
- About 1.3 million t of conventional and about 170,000 t of chemical explosive ordnance in the North Sea
- About 300,000 t of conventional and about 50,000 t of chemical explosive ordnance in the Baltic Sea
- Unexploded ordnance from current day military exercises and tests
As a result, explosive ordnance contamination in Germany has become a core topic in the expansion of the offshore energy industry as well as of the entire shipping sector.