Military use | Kustportaal

Military use

Military activities and exercises are regularly carried out in the Belgian part of the North Sea (BNS) and in the coastal area. These include: shooting exercises from land to sea, shooting exercises at sea towards floating targets, detonation exercises with practice mines and detonation of found war equipment, exercises in laying, hunting and sweeping mines, extensive mine exercises by various NATO member states, etc. In addition, amphibian, rescue and flying exercises take place and defence is involved in search and rescue activities, enforcement, pollution control, etc. (Maes et al. 2005, GAUFRE-project BELSPO, website Defence).

There is also a dump of war ammunition from the First World War in the BNS. It is located near the coast of Knokke-Heist on the shallow sandbank of the Paardenmarkt. According to OSPAR 148 such munitions dump sites have so far been identified in the north-east Atlantic (OSPAR QSR 2010). A synthesis of the scientific research conducted into the impact of the ammunition storage on the Horse Market site is available in Missiaen & Henriet (2010).

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Marine Spatial Planning