Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models

The Scientific Service “Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models and the Scheldt estuary (MUMM)” is responsible for the follow-up of different legal obligations (and rights) for the management of the marine environment. We work on environmental impact assessments, aerial surveillance of the sea, monitoring of the quality of the sea in the framework of the OSPAR Convention and the European Framework Directives (Water and Marine Strategy) and the management of stranded sea mammals.

MUMM combines the expertise of 3 teams: MARIMA, SURV and SWAP.

Windmills Thorntonbank

The MARIMA team (Marine Management) is responsible for environmental permits for human activities at sea. To set up a wind farm or any other special activity at sea, a project will need to go through a process in order to obtain an environmental permit. The applicant submits an environmental impact report to our scientific department, MUMM. MUMM then carries out an environmental impact assessment and advises the federal minister for the Marine Environment. The minister then decides whether or not to issue an environmental permit. MUMM is also responsible for the follow up: construction, exploitation and monitoring programs.

aircraft OO-MMM

Since December 1990, the SURV team (Aerial Surveillance) has been monitoring from the air the areas of the sea for which Belgium is responsible. This airborne surveillance of the North Sea is undertaken in the context of the Bonn Agreement.  Each country organises its own surveillance programme in accordance with the guidelines laid down in this Agreement. For this aerial surveillance, we have our own aircraft: a Britten Norman Islander OO-MMM. We fly several times a week, day and night, and we search for (oil) pollution. We take colleagues from the Service of Fisheries on board to control fisheries vessels. As MUMM is part of the Belgian Coast Guard, our tasks have been broadened and we pay attention to special actions like aerial assistance in case of an incident at sea, tracking of lost cargo, observing the presence of marine mammals, algal blooms or jellyfish, the surveillance of activities with a permit, control of navigation infractions,…


SWAP FLOAT UI screenshot

SWAP (Scientific Web sites and Applications) is a small, results-oriented, multidisciplinary team of scientists whose missions are to plan, develop and maintain scientific web sites and applications for OD Nature. SWAP offers a full consultancy and development service to scientists and helps them present their work in the best possible light. It contributes to the communication of relevant, accurate and useful information and data to the general public and the scientific community. SWAP is now in the process of migrating and modernising specialised scientific web assets related to OD Nature and does so though close cooperation with the Directorate's various research teams and groups. A few examples of such on-going cooperation for soon to be published web sites and applications are the complete refit of our trusted operational oceanographic forecasts for the North Sea, the presentation of up-to-date information (at-sea campaigns details, near-real time data, etc.) related to the RV Belgica and of scientific research in disciplines as varied as terrestrial biodiversity assessment, conservation biology or remote sensing and ecosystem modelling. SWAP also cooperates with BEDIC on information processing and data management projects.

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