WMU Presents Overview of WRENE Project at Swedish Agency for Water and Marine Management (SwAM)
On 5 December, WMU researchers presented an overview of the Wreck Responsibilities in Northern Europe (WRENE) project at a Swedish Agency for Water and Marine Management (SwAM) workshop in Gothenburg. SwAM’s Senior Advisor, Dr. Christer Larsson, and his team organized the event to discuss feasible alternatives for dealing with dangerous wrecks in Swedish waters.
Funded by SwAM, WRENE provides a comparative study and subsequently extracts and compiles relevant practices concerning wreck-removal. The project began in October and was completed in December under the supervision of WMU Principal Investigator, Dr. Lawrence Hildebrand.
Swedish authorities have identified 31 ‘dangerous wrecks’ within Swedish waters. There is an ongoing process to remove pollutants from these wrecks, and in some cases, the aim is to remove submerged wrecks and free the waters from all potential threats. As policy work progresses in Sweden, SwAM is currently in the process of formulating a functional strategy that can eliminate the threats posed by these dangerous wrecks in support of the Swedish Government’s commitment to marine environment protection.
WRENE provides insight into complex issues that originate from regulatory gaps and the absence of an adequate funding system. Complementing the ongoing efforts of SwAM, WRENE provides an overview of national liability regimes, surveys and inventories, environmental impacts, departmental roles and responsibilities, and an end-of-life management framework as well as funding mechanisms implemented by the governments of selected European States.
WMU researchers are optimistic that the final WRENE report, which mirrors the lessons learned from other jurisdictions, will provide a road map for SwAM to deal with the 31 ‘dangerous wrecks’ in Swedish waters. Despite the project coming to an official close, SwAM has expressed the intention to maintain collaboration with WMU. WMU will continue to update SwAM on international developments as well as progress made by EU States in regard to dangerous wreck removal.