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Munitions dumped at sea

The risk generated by munitions dumped at sea is two-fold, with the risk of explosion and the risk of a toxic substance being released.


What could be done, in 1918, with the millions of shells filled with mustard gas left in the hands of the warring parties? What could be done with a British warship, sunk off the coast of Cherbourg by a German torpedo during the Second World War, with its load of depth charges onboard? ...


There are two types of risks generated by munitions dumped at sea: the risk of explosion and the risk of release of a toxic substance.

High risk areas

Over the past years, various countries, including France, have focused on producing an inventory of dumped ammunition in their territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

Risk prevention

Dumping of munitions at sea has been prohibited since the 1972 London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matter came into force in 1975, later completed by the 1996 Protocol which specifically prohibits all dumping of munitions

Further information

Further information available online.

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