An article in the Proceedings of the US Naval Institute says that a major factor in the Gallipoli disaster of WWI was the great effectiveness of the Turkish minefields, which checkmated the power of the Allied (British, French, and Russian) navies and prohibited a seapower-only passage through the Strait of Dardanelles. The authors argue that China’s intensive production of naval mines could result in a similar strategically-critical threat in a future conflict.
Several approaches to reduce the minefield threat are discussed…one rather surprising angle is to exploit the characteristics of the snapping shrimp…these crustaceans generate extremely loud sounds when they close their claws, and American submarine commanders in WWII would sometimes hide in snapping shrimp colonies to mask their acoustic signatures from enemy hydrophones. These creatures are especially and conveniently dense, it seems, in the East and South China Seas, and it is suggested that arrays of sensors, backed by considerable computing power, could process the returns from the noise generated by the shrimp and hence locate the enemy mines.
Stranger things have happened…I guess.