News from the CONMAR project

Munition in the Sea on the political agenda

Kiel Germany, 11.08.2022

The two members of the Bundestag Mr. Sönke Rix and Mr. Mathias Stein informed themselves today at GEOMAR among other things about the problem of munition in the sea and the status quo of research.

(from left to right: Prof. Dr. Sylvia Sander (GEOMAR), MdB Sönke Rix, Prof. Dr. Katja Matthes, Director GEOMAR, MdB Mathias Stein, Prof. Dr. Jens Greinert (GEOMAR), Prof. Dr. Klaus Wallmann (GEOMAR))

Daniela Henkel, CONMAR member, GEOMAR

European Maritime Day 2022

Berlin, 22 June 2022

One important aspect of solving the issue of munitions in the sea, is the collaboration between scientific institutions, private companies and other stakeholders. To further strengthen these connections and to inform German parliamentarians, Fraunhofer IGD invited members of the German Bundestag, CONMAR members and other guests to an informative evening in Berlin. The event was opened by a keynote from Claudia Müller (Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry and for Tourism). Presentations on the role of the expert group Munitions in the Sea (Dr. Johannes Oelerich, MELUND), on the German navy's capacities (Flottillenadmiral Jürgen zur Mühlen), on the private industries' capabilities and technological gaps (Jan Koelbel, STASCHEIT Kampfmittelräumung GmbH) and on applied science requirements (Prof. Uwe Freiherr von Lukas, Fraunhofer IDG) informed the audience on what is needed for a successful upscaling of maritime explosive ordnance disposal. Food and drinks were generously offered and the ensuing lively discussions on the way forward were sparked by the presentations, making this evening an interesting and successful one for all the participants.

Torsten Frey, CONMAR member, GEOMAR

European Maritime Day 2022

Ravenna, Italy, 20 May 2022

The issue of ammuntion in the sea is receiving more and more attention all over Europe. To present the research that was done in Germany over the past years and to moderate a panel on the topic, I travelled to the European Maritime Day (EMD) event held in Ravenna, Italy. To make sure the perspective of the military and the relevant private sector industries on the topic were represented as well, we invited Catherine Warner (NATO CMRE) and Dieter Guldin (SeaTerra GmbH) to join our panel. This way, we were also able to cover the Baltic, the North and the Mediterranean Seas. In an one hour session, we offered a brief look at the problems related to the munitions and an extensive overview of the potential solutions. The entire session was recorded and can be viewed in the video below.

Torsten Frey, CONMAR member, GEOMAR


Wilhelmshaven, 3 May 2022

Today, as part of the CONMAR project, I had my first trip with a research cutter. After a corona test and a safety briefing, the Senckenberg left Wilhelmshaven at 8AM. At this trip we traveled until Wangerooge, including strong swell and a delicious lunch. According to research, there are about 600,000 tons of munition in this area. We went to a total of eight measuring stations, where we took water and sediment samples. These are now subsequently being analyzed for explosive-type compounds, pollutants, and TNT. This will provide information on the environmental impact of contamination from dumped munitions, which in turn will provide information on management strategies for dealing with these munitions. In addition, the samples will be used to build a database of marine bacterial populations for the sister project CREATE. The field trip was a lot of fun and gave me, as a social scientist, an excellent insight into the working procedures of my natural science colleagues from CONMAR and CREATE. 

Alexander Pechmann, CONMAR member, Global Climate Forum