The team of 30 people will attempt to clean up the mess left after the ship lost hundreds of containers in 2019
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The team will begin on Monday 14 September, reports the Omrop Fryslan, and will work on 18 different sites in the North Sea for around two weeks. Two ships will support the team, which will leave from the port of Lauwersoog.
According to an inventory check taken after the MSC Zoe disaster, around 800,000 kilos of unaccounted for goods may sit in the North Sea. The diving team will be delving into the waters just north of Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, slightly off the route of the container ship.
The areas have been selected because various volunteers have highlighted a need for cleaning in them. A total of 45 locations have been scanned and noted as needing some form of action from the divers.
A complicating factor for the team is that ship-wrecks are in fact biological hotspots, functioning as nurseries for young animals. Around 500 species have made a home in the wrecks, but they can also act as magnets for waste, due to them sticking up from the seabed. This has a knock-on effect of making it difficult to remove waste from the areas, and lots of items sit semi-submerged in the sandy seabed.
The cleaning campaign for the MSC Zoe items has been organised by the Stichting Duik De Noordzee Schoon (The Diving the North Sea Clean Foundation). The idea behind the organisation is that its volunteer teams go into shipwrecks to clean them and make them better suited as marine habitats, or to protect them from damage (some wrecks are historical monuments).
The team works with various research bureaus, companies, the government; and universities. Over the last ten years they have mounted around 14 expeditions- in September of 2019 the team went into the sea and collected 2,500 kilos of rubbish from the seabed. Of this, it was estimated that 500 kilos were from the MSC Zoe.