There are over 100,000 tonnes of unexploded bombs, mines and shells lying in waters around the UK, left over from the First and Second World Wars. As the world begins to move towards renewable energy sources such as wind farms and solar farm, more room is needed to get these farms up and running, so these unexploded weapons are posing a problem.
How are explosives cleared from the ocean?
Currently these explosives are simply blown up to clear them out of the ocean. As you can imagine these explosions are not small and an estimated 50 are being carried out each year. Whilst we imagine that all safety precautions are taken to protect human life, it is unlikely that the same can be said for marine life. With most marine mammals such as dolphins and whales relying on their hearing for hunting, navigating and communicating the ramifications of them being too close to one of these clearances could be devastating.
The beaching of 39 long-finned pilot whales in Scotland back in 2011 was investigated and found the cause for the beaching to be likely linked to an explosive clearance that happened around the time. We are now a decade on and there are still similar stories in the news. The Times in November 2019 wrote that the German Military was being accused of killing 19 porpoises after they had attempted to clear 42 rusting munitions with the German defence ministry actually admitting that each explosion had taken a chunk out of the underwater reef as well as obliterating all marine life within 30m.
There is an alternative to the current method used in clearing these explosives that has a lesser impact. This method is called 'deflagration' which is where the contents of the explosive to burn out without detonating. Evidence suggests that this method is several hundred times quieter than current methods that are being used.
Sign The Petition
A petition set up by Joanna Lumley is demanding that the Government and wind farm developers switch to this new technique to protect our marine life and stop needlessly placing marine habitats at risk.
You can join the over 100,000 people that have already signed the petition, add your name and demand action now!
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