Sea Alarm is pleased to introduce Paul Kelway as our new Global Preparedness Coordinator. Paul comes to Sea Alarm with a strong background in international oil spill response work. As Emergency Relief Manager for International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s Oiled Wildlife Division and then as Executive Director at International Bird Rescue (IBR), Paul has worked closely with many key organisations and individuals in the oiled wildlife response field.
Paul coordinated response efforts in Norway, France and Mexico and has responded to spills in Spain, South Africa and the United States. In addition to direct involvement in the coordination and management of international oil spill responses, Paul has been active in developing global response strategies and managing international partnerships.
As Global Preparedness Coordinator, Paul will be working in collaboration with leading international NGO’s to develop a worldwide infrastructure to support and enhance oiled wildlife preparedness and response. Presently based in California, Paul will move to Brussels in 2014.
In March Wildtierstation Hamburg hosted the European Oiled Wildlife Responders’ meeting, which was attended by Sea Alarm, the RSPCA, ProBird and Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend. A highlight of the meeting was a tour of the new rehabilitation facility outside of Hamburg, which Wildtierstation Hamburg is in the process of refurbishing.
The oiled wildlife responders group, which meets twice yearly, approved the content of a joint protocol/response manual for oiled bird rehabilitation, an important milestone in the development of a European standard for care of oil affected birds during a spill response. The document is now in the design process and is expected to be made available in the coming months.
Next steps for the group include developing similar cooperative guidelines for management of international oiled wildlife response within Europe where these organisations may be called on by local NGOs, oil companies or various authorities to aid in wildlife and creating training courses for hands-on wildlife responders.
As part of Sea Alarm’s ongoing efforts to enhance collaborative, professional oiled wildlife response, an MOU with Belgium’s Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend (WRCO) was signed in January. Sea Alarm and WRCO have a long history of working together on preparedness and active response since they first met in the aftermath of the Tricolor oil spill in 2002.
WRCO’s new facility, which opened in 2010, is designed for oil spill response, allowing for fast conversion from general wildlife hospital to oiled wildlife care facility, as the need arises. Staff from WRCO has been active in oil spill response throughout Europe andWRCO is an active partner in setting up EU oiled wildlife responders group, which is developing protocols and guidance documents for the region.
In March, Sea Alarm (Saskia Sessions, Claude Velter) visited two French wildlife rehabilitation centres, Alca Torda Wildlife Recovery Centre and the Le Centre Vétérinaire de la Faune Sauvage et des Ecosystèmes (CVFSE) at Nantes Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering (ONIRIS) Wildlife Care Centre at Nantes Veterinary School (CVFSE) to discuss oil wildlife response in France.
They learned more about the current French oiled wildlife response and preparedness situation and discussed the potential for these facilities to be involved in Sea Alarm’s activities to advance oiled wildlife response in the region and in Europe. Sea Alarm is also collaborating with the CVFSE on the POSOW project.
Alca Torda Wildlife Recovery Centre, located near Bordeaux, was founded in the wake of the Erika and Prestige oil spills. In addition to oil spill response, Alca Torda cares for other wild animals affected by human activities.
Le Centre Vétérinaire de la Faune Sauvage et des Ecosystèmes (CVFSE) at Nantes Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering (ONIRIS) was created in 1985 by veterinary students interested in wildlife medicine. CVFSE also responded during the Erika and Prestige oil spills.
Sea Alarm, in consultation with the Centre Vétérinaire de la Faune Sauvage et des Écosystèmes (CVFSE) and WWF Finland, has developed an Oiled Wildlife Response Manual for the Preparedness for Oil-polluted Shoreline cleanup and Oiled Wildlife Interventions (POSOW) project. POSOW, which will run for 2 years, is coordinated by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) and co-funded by the European Commission.
The Oiled Wildlife Response manual is designed for volunteers with little or no experience in oiled wildlife response. It provides guidance on appropriate first aid and stabilisation actions that may be taken until expert wildlife responders arrive on scene. It is one of a series of volunteer manuals being produced for oil spill response in the Mediterranean. In May, ‘train the trainer’ courses will be given in Brest, France for personnel likely to be involved in wildlife management during an oil spill.
The new manual can be downloaded from the POSOW website.