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Research activities


Under Arts. 132, 133, Federal Mining Law, research activities in the area of the continental shelf which do not relate to the exploitation of resources are subject to approval by the BSH. That applies, for example, to surveys of the seabed prior to cable or pipeline routing.

Research activities aimed at the exploitation of natural resources require approval by the Oberbergamt (higher mining authority).

With respect to the above named research cruises, which also have to be approved by the BSH, it should be noted that a written application must be filed at least six weeks before the planned start of research activities.

The approval process for scientific research cruises planned by foreign institutions, which do not concern cable or pipeline routing, takes even longer because such applications have to be submitted to the BSH via the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Housing. Other applications are submitted directly to the BSH.

Applications should be submitted complete with the following documentation:

  • a location map precisely defining the area where the research activities are to be carried out,
  • information about the research programme and its technical implementation,
  • information about the research vessel,
  • beginning and projected end of the research activities.

The BSH examines whether overriding public interests conflict with the project, in particular whether the planned research activities would impair

  • the operation and effectiveness of facilities for shipping and aids to navigation,
  • the use of shipping routes and airspace, navigation, fisheries, as well as flora and fauna, in an unacceptable manner,
  • the laying, operation, and maintenance of submarine cables and pipelines as well as oceanographic and other scientific research activities, more than avoidable under the prevailing circumstances.

Research activities are not allowed to cause pollution of the marine environment or impair the security of the Federal Republic of Germany.


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If you have any additional questions, please e-mail
Dr. Nico Nolte, or phone +49 40 3190 - 3500


More information on the subject:
Submarine cables
Wind farms

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 © 2018 Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie Last Update: 19-Apr-2013 18:02:47  
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