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m (Acoustic kelp bed mapping in shallow rocky coasts - case study Helgoland (North Sea))
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==Acoustic kelp bed mapping in shallow rocky coasts - case study Helgoland==
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==Chemical and conventional ammunition in the Baltic Sea==
[[Image:Kelp_bed_mapping_1.jpg|thumb|right|'''Figure 1''' Aspect of the kelp forest off Helgoland. The main structuring species is the brown alga ''Laminaria hyperborea'' which grows to a length of approx. 1-2 m and provides shelter and substrate for many other species. Foto: C. Wanke, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland.]]
 
  
Kelp beds are named after their habitat structuring organisms which are perennial brown macroalgae of several metres length, living submersed in the light penetrated zone of temperate and polar rocky shores (Fig. 1). Kelps provide substrate, food and protection for hundreds of different marine fishes, invertebrates, or other macroalgal species. A change or loss will have drastic consequences for coastal ecosystems.
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[[image:Fig-1_german-coast.jpg|thumb|450px|right|Figure 1: Dumping sites and areas of suspicion concerning dumped ammunition at the German Baltic Sea coast]]
  
In recent years worldwide reports of changing kelp beds have been published (Japan: Kirihara et al., 2006<ref name="K">Kirihara, S., Nakamura, T., Kon, N., Fujita, D. & Notoya, M. (2006). Recent fluctuations in distribution and biomass of cold and warm temperate species of Laminarialean algae at Cape Ohma, northern Honshu, Japan. J Applied Phycol., 18, 521-527.</ref>, Norway: Moy et al., 2003<ref name="M">Moy, F., Aure, J., Dahl, E., Green, N., Johnsen, T.M., Lømsland, E.R., Magnusson, J., Omli, L., Olsgaard, F., Oug, E., Pedersen, A., Rygg, B. & Walday, M.(2003). Landtidsovervåking av miljøkvaliteten i kystområdene av Norge. Årsrapport for 2002, 1-69.</ref>, France: Cosson, 1999<ref name="C">Cosson, J. (1999). Sur la disparition progressive de ''Laminaria digitata'' sur les côtes du Calvados (France). Cryptogamie Algol, 20, 35-42.</ref>, Australia: Australian Marine Conservation Society [http://weblink www.amcs.org.au/]). In Europe, including Helgoland (Gehling & Bartsch, submitted<ref name="GB">Gehling, C. & Bartsch, I.(submitted). Changes in depth distribution and biomass of sublittoral seaweeds at Helgoland (North Sea) between 1970 and 2005. Submitted to Climate Research.  
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At the end of World War II it was necessary to find a fast and economical way of disposal for the enormous quantities of no more required conventional and chemical ammunition from German and allied stocks. Usual methods of destruction like detonation, burning or even simple emptying soon emerged as very time-consuming and dangerous. Dumping at sea seemed to be the much more efficient and – concerning the general security – the less problematic solution attempt. Environmental aspects and the issue of protection of the sea were completely ignored at that time.    
</ref>), there is evidence of a biomass decrease and/or change in depth distribution of some species. As the marine protected area off Helgoland is the only rocky area within the southern North Sea, this habitat is extremely important. Spatial information on the extent of the prevailing kelp beds is urgently needed as a baseline from which to judge future changes. This led to the current case study.
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Details about type and amount of sea dumped conventional and chemical ammunition vary considerably. Trends indicate that the biggest part of conventional ammunition were dumped in the German coastal waters within the 12-nautical miles zone, while the both biggest dumping sites for chemical ammunition are located in the Skagerrak and the Bornholm Basin.      
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Based on diverse accidents, especially concerning fishery, a discussion about possible risk potentials of dumped ammunition for humans and environment arose mid of the 1980’s in which context first assessments finished that a fairly long-term threat for the marine environment can not be ruled out and that the existing, quite considerable lacks of knowledge – especially concerning ecotoxicology – have to be filled by specific investigations.
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Overall, 16 areas at the German Baltic coast are marked as “unrein Munition” (polluted by ammunition) on maritime shipping charts (Koch & Nehring 2007<ref>Koch, M. & Nehring, S. (2007): Rüstungsaltlasten in den deutschen Küstengewässern - Vorschläge für Sanierungsstrategien im Kontext der Europäischen Wasserrahmenrichtlinie. – Rostocker Meeresbiologische Beiträge 17: 39-54.
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</ref>) (Figure 1). Amounts of dumped ammunition in these areas are – in contrast to the dumping activities in the North Sea – completely unknown. However, a total amount of more than 100,000 tons of ammunition can be assumed, comprising for the most part conventional ammunition (SHL 2001<ref name="shl">SHL (2001): Kampfmittel in Küstengewässern. Antwort der Landesregierung auf eine kleine Anfrage. – Schleswig-Holsteinischer Landtag, Drucksache 15/1226: 1-7; Kiel.</ref>).

Revision as of 11:52, 14 July 2008

Chemical and conventional ammunition in the Baltic Sea

Figure 1: Dumping sites and areas of suspicion concerning dumped ammunition at the German Baltic Sea coast

At the end of World War II it was necessary to find a fast and economical way of disposal for the enormous quantities of no more required conventional and chemical ammunition from German and allied stocks. Usual methods of destruction like detonation, burning or even simple emptying soon emerged as very time-consuming and dangerous. Dumping at sea seemed to be the much more efficient and – concerning the general security – the less problematic solution attempt. Environmental aspects and the issue of protection of the sea were completely ignored at that time.

Details about type and amount of sea dumped conventional and chemical ammunition vary considerably. Trends indicate that the biggest part of conventional ammunition were dumped in the German coastal waters within the 12-nautical miles zone, while the both biggest dumping sites for chemical ammunition are located in the Skagerrak and the Bornholm Basin.

Based on diverse accidents, especially concerning fishery, a discussion about possible risk potentials of dumped ammunition for humans and environment arose mid of the 1980’s in which context first assessments finished that a fairly long-term threat for the marine environment can not be ruled out and that the existing, quite considerable lacks of knowledge – especially concerning ecotoxicology – have to be filled by specific investigations.

Overall, 16 areas at the German Baltic coast are marked as “unrein Munition” (polluted by ammunition) on maritime shipping charts (Koch & Nehring 2007[1]) (Figure 1). Amounts of dumped ammunition in these areas are – in contrast to the dumping activities in the North Sea – completely unknown. However, a total amount of more than 100,000 tons of ammunition can be assumed, comprising for the most part conventional ammunition (SHL 2001[2]).
  1. Koch, M. & Nehring, S. (2007): Rüstungsaltlasten in den deutschen Küstengewässern - Vorschläge für Sanierungsstrategien im Kontext der Europäischen Wasserrahmenrichtlinie. – Rostocker Meeresbiologische Beiträge 17: 39-54.
  2. SHL (2001): Kampfmittel in Küstengewässern. Antwort der Landesregierung auf eine kleine Anfrage. – Schleswig-Holsteinischer Landtag, Drucksache 15/1226: 1-7; Kiel.