Environmental Impact CSR 2016 – Boskalis 30

Salvage and wreck removal

Ecosystem services valuation

Through SMIT Salvage (salvage and wreck removal) we provide assistance to shipowners with vessels in distress and seek to avert potential major environmental disasters. We employ solutions that take the environment and natural surroundings into consideration. Wreck removal operations always take place in cases where a wreck is obstructing safe navigation or presents an environmental hazard. We use advanced technology and expertise to remove potentially hazardous substances such as bunker fuel and cargo from wrecks, and have a successful track record in salvaging vessels and platforms under challenging circumstances. SMIT Salvage attended to more than 50 marine casualties in 2016. The spectacular salvage operation of the ro-ro carrier Modern Express in the Bay of Biscay and the refloating of the containership CSCL Indian Ocean on the Elbe River received a lot of media attention. For more information on the salvage of the Modern Express please refer to our online magazine (

Ecosystem Services (ES) is a term used to denote the benefits that humans derive from nature. Using an ecosystem services valuation model to monetize the value of an ecosystem allows stakeholders to weigh the ‘natural capital’ against the economic and social benefits. While a large number of scientists are working on this concept, translation into practice is sorely lacking. Since dredging contractors already implement Building with Nature solutions in projects which reflect a deep concern with ecosystem preservation, taking the next step to an ES approach is a natural progression. In 2016 the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) commissioned the study ‘Ecosystem services: Towards integrated marine infrastructure project optimization.’ The study was conducted by the University of Antwerp, with a specialist in ecosystem services. Boskalis participated in a group of experts from the dredging industry which was actively involved throughout the study to provide input and discuss intermediate results. The findings of the study have been presented in a report, which is available for download from the IADC website. The report explains the general concept of ecosystem services and the overall considerations on its use in the context of dredging projects. The ES concept is complicated and its implementation even more so. Clearly, research into valuing ecosystems and biodiversity and the relationship between the two is only just beginning.

Salvage of the ro-ro carrier Modern Express.

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