Risk Management For Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) In The Marine Environment


  • Brett Howard Marine Affairs Program
  • Jana Aker
  • Mike Reid


World Wars I and II resulted in the production of tremendous amounts of conventional and chemical ordnances. Unfortunately, many of these ordnances (UXO) still exist in an unexploded state on the sea floor, continuously presenting the risk of serious harm to people and the environment. Using existing marine UXO literature, a list of 21 plausible UXO risk events in the marine environment was generated and then categorized into risk levels of low, medium, high and very high. Subsequently the efficacy of a series of risk reduction strategies was examined within the context of these identified risks. This paper reviews the risks and risk management strategies involved with the presence of these unexploded ordnances in the marine environment. It provides suggestions for the introduction of effective risk management plans as well as offers clarification on exactly what the largest risks associated with underwater UXO in a global context.

Author Biographies

Brett Howard, Marine Affairs Program

Brett Howard is a Master of Marine Management Candidate at the Dalhousie University Faculty of Management. She has a background in marine ecology and conservation and is interested in the interface between marine science and international law and policy. Her career aspirations are to help develop marine management strategies that encourage sustainable and safe marine resource extraction. Brett can be reached at brett.howard@dal.ca

Jana Aker

Jana Aker is a graduate student in the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University. She is originally from Sydney, Nova Scotia, and obtained her undergraduate degree in biology from Cape Breton University in 2010. Her interests include marine protected areas, conservation and shipping impacts and regulations. In Summer 2012 she will be involved with the establishment of the St. Ann‘s Bank marine protected area off of the east coast of Cape Breton Island. Jana can be reached at jana.aker@dal.ca

Mike Reid

Mike Reid is a Candidate in the Masters of Marine Management program at Dalhousie University. His research interests include maritime history, wetland management practices and the politics of commercial activity on and under the high seas. He is currently preparing to undertake a project that will attempt to establish historical baselines for wetland coverage within the province of Nova Scotia. Mike can be reached at pmreid@dal.ca


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