(HELCOM expert group on environmental risks of hazardous submerged objects)

The group was established in 2013 with the aim to elaborate one of HELCOM thematic assessmet on environmental risk of hazardous submerged objects. The group will compile and assess information about all kinds of hazardous objects, including contaminated wrecks, lost or dumped packed dangerous goods (e.g. containers), dumped hazardous waste, munitions and warfare materials which may affect the environment and other activities in the Baltic Sea (e.g., human beings involved in shipping and offshore construction) and assess the associated risks.

Terms of Reference of the HELCOM SUBMERGED group

HELCOM documents of the 2nd Meeting of HELCOM SUBMERGED 2/2015.
The outcome of the last meeting is available here.

HELCOM documents of the 1st Meeting of HELCOM
 SUBMERGED 1/2014.
The outcome of the last meeting is available here.


  MODUM project  (Towards the monitoring of dumped munitions threat)

The aim of the project is to continue the assessment of various aspects of the risk associated with dumped chemical

munitions, and to create the foundation for monitoring network which could assess the trends in risk levels in DCW dumping grounds. It will extend the information collected during the implementation of the MERCW and CHEMSEA projects. The project is funded by the NATO.

MODUM leaflet

Lead: Institute of Oceanology PAS, Sopot, Poland.
Project period: Oct 2013 - June 2016


  CHEMSEA project (Chemical Munitions Search & Assessment)

The aim of this project was to assess the environmental risk related to dumped chemical munitions, by updating the maps of Gotland Deep Dumping ground and the munitions dispersed on the Baltic Seafloor, assessing the risk for benthic biota and fish and modelling the dispersion of contaminated sediments. Another major task was to create administrative tools to manage the dump sites, and to update and merge national guidelines and regulations on dumped munitions.

CHEMSEA leaflet

Project results include:
the textbook "CHEMSEA Findings", 2014.
map with marked test results 
Guidelines for fishermen in PL and EN
Procedures for fishermen in PL and EN
Booklet: Code of practice on chemical munition in PL and EN
CHEMSEA policy paper for HELCOM

Institute of Oceanology PAS, Sopot, Poland, with the involvement of 10 Institutions from Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.
Project period: Sept 2011- March 2014


   HELCOM MUNI group

(HELCOM ad hoc expert group to update and review the existing information on dumped chemical munitions in the Baltic Sea).

Since 2009 the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection in Poland has been the leader of the EUSBSR flagship project „Assess the need to clean up chemical weapons”. Therefore, in 2010 to implement the project HELCOM MUNI group was set up within the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM).
The HELCOM MUNI report on Chemical Munitions Dumped in the Baltic Sea collects knowledge about activities related to dumping and picking up of munitions, supplemented in particular by recently discovered archival materials and by conclusions and research findings from the analyses of these data. It has been officially approved at the HELCOM Ministerial Conference on 3rd October 2013.

HELCOM MUNI report substract
Mr. Claus Boettcher's presentation - HELCOM-Muni report (2013) findings and recommendations

The MERCW project (Modelling of Ecological Risks Related to Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons)

The research proposed in the MERCW project carries out focused research and technology developments on the Bornholm dumpsite. It aimed to develop a multidisciplinary approach to the problem, ranging from the development of a release and migration model of chemical warfare agents from the dumpsite to an assessment of the environmental threat and development of indices to be used by authorities.

MERCW has published a Synthesis report of the available data in 2006.

Lead: Finnish Institute of Marine Research (FIMR)
Project period: 2005–2008


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