Ove Ronny Haraldsen
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The autonomous underwater vehicle HUGIN is being launched for another voyage out in the Oslofjord. It can dive down to a depth of 6,000 metres and survey two and a half square kilometres of seafloor in an hour. It is now being used to detect what has been dumped in the sea over the years, and the surprises can come thick and fast.
“What we can see is an aircraft situated in a dumping ground off Slagentangen in Tønsberg. Whether the aircraft has crashed or been dumped there is not known, but based on its size, we believe it to be a three-engined German seaplane”, says Stig Råen in Kongsberg Maritime as he is waching the seabed mapping done by the HUGIN.
KONGSBERG is now taking part in a collaborative project to determine how advanced subsea technology can be used in the management of fjords and coastal areas.
During a two-day environmental voyage, over 60 resource people within research and management will witness the benefits to be gained from detailed seafloor surveys first hand.
A major problem is lobster pots which have come adrift, of which there are many in the outer Oslofjord, according to Roar Jonstang, Chairman of the Board in Færder National Park.
“This issue with lobster pots is very specific. We know that abandoned lobster pots on the seafloor continue to trap marine wildlife. This means that they catch some of the fish we would rather see survive. Mapping the occurrence of fishing gear, with lobster pots as just one example of such equipment, is a key aspect of this project. We are also on the look-out for how we can solve the problem once the lobster pots have been identified. The question then becomes how to recover them or render them harmless”, says Jonstang.
KONGSBERG has now surveyed areas of the outer Oslofjord with a degree of accuracy that has never previously been achieved. The experiences gained from the voyage will now be used to work out how the environment and management of our marine areas can best be safeguarded.
“This project began with us carrying out an environmental survey of central areas in outer Oslofjord. While doing this, we worked with Vestfold County authorities to take advantage of the opportunity to arrange a major seminar. These are new applications and areas where we do not know the bigger picture of what can be achieved. We need to talk to those who are interested in data from the coast in order to identify new solutions to help in the management and sustainable development of the coast.