Hundreds of ship and aircraft wrecks lie at the bottom of the North Sea, not least because of the two world wars. In addition, there are thousands of tonnes of conventional and chemical munitions dumped on the high seas or near the coast. The wrecks themselves, their cargoes and fuel tanks, as well as the ammunition, represent obstacles to navigation and sources of toxins as well as explosive objects. They pose a danger to people and the environment and affect so-called blue growth operations, such as commercial and private shipping, tourism, aquaculture and the off-shore wind farms.
Where exactly do these dangers lurk? What effects on the environment are already being observed and how high is the potential danger posed by the war legacies for the flora and fauna of the North Sea in the future?
Within the north sea wrecks project, these questions are addresses together with scientists from almost all countries bordering the North Sea. The Wreck North Sea tool, developped within the scope of this project will enable multiple disciplines dealing with wrecks, to manage their wreck data and perform risk assessments and prioritize the wrecks to assist the decision making proces of the most urgent cases.