via SPREP (South Pacific Regional Environment Programme), 19 November 2019: The South Pacific Regional Environment Programme is working on a large-scale project to survey and assess the remains of 53 WWII wrecks in the waters of several South Pacific countries.
According to Mr. Anthony Talouli, Pollution Advisor with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the remains of ships sunk during WWII poses several risks. Principally, these wrecks are home to unexploded ordinance, and to oil and fuel.
Fortunately, SPREP is working with partners in a large-scale remediation project to address the problem. SPREP, the University of Newcastle, and Major Projects Foundation (MPF), are planning a wide-ranging project to assess the dangers posed by more than 50 WWII era wrecks, and then to plan on dealing with those dangers.
The wrecks, 53 to be specific, are in the economic zones of Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands.
“Our next step will be to get out and make a physical assessment of the wrecks, to determine how much oil is left and the physical condition of the hull,” said Mr. Talouli.
Mr. Talouli said this would involve travelling to the site of a wreck, and inspecting the site with remote submersibles, or with divers.