BalticRIM mentioned in the Danish news
The great ‘shipworm’ threat and how to counter it through Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP).
In a special feature on Climate Change, the Danish newspaper Politiken addressed the current Teredo navalis threat for the underwater cultural heritage in its Sunday issue on page 20-23, published on 10th February 2019. It pointed to new results of the University of Rostock, which monitors the Teredo navalis spread with the conclusion that spawning rates are increasing due to higher water temperatures as a consequence of Climate Change. This poses an increased threat to all wooden structures, including archaeological remains like historic shipwrecks. The affected maritime areas remain relatively stable as the Teredo navalis requires a salinity higher than 8 PSU to spawn, thus only the western Baltic Sea states Denmark, Germany and the western Swedish coast are affected, but the studies are not yet conclusive of the issue of minimum salinity tolerances. Thus, in these waters, a great emphasis has to lie on erosion prevention measures in order to protect the underwater cultural heritage. The sediment layer forms a physical barrier the shipworm cannot penetrate. For this reason, erosion prevention and artificial covers were recommended by the EU-funded WreckProtect project (2009-2010) as primary in situ protection strategy. Due to the absence of tidal currents, such measures seem realistic and sustainable in the relatively benign Baltic Sea and could be – in part – affected through MSP strategies within the framework of the BalticRIM project, as Daniel Zwick of the lead partner organisation ALSH points out. The strategies were not specified in the article itself, but could include the restriction of human activity with a great impact on the seabed, such as trawling, aggregate mining or high-speed traffic in shallow coastal waters.
Author: Daniel Zwick, State Archaeology Department of Schleswig-Holstein (ALSH).