Skip to main content

Seabed: Bomb Disposal

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 122652, tabled on 30 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the damage caused to marine life as a result of the detonation of abandoned unexploded munitions on the sea floor.

Answered on

8 December 2020

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is responsible for licensing marine activities in the seas around England, including the removal of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) from the seabed. In determining any application for a marine licence, the MMO considers all relevant matters including the need to protect the marine environment. This involves assessing any potential impacts on marine life under an environmental assessment. Such assessments are made on the specifics of each case and involve consultation with the MMO’s primary advisors, including Natural England.

In the last five years, the MMO has received, assessed and issued nine marine licences involving the removal of UXOs from the seabed.