2015

January

A two-day meeting, hosted by Sea Alarm, launches the European Oiled Wildlife Response Assistance Module (EUROWA Module).

February

The RSPCA’s Mallydams Wood Centre in the UK hosts the first 2015 full meeting of all EUROWA project partners and subcontractors. Key tasks include the development of standardised training based on defined skills and responsibilities of various positions within an oiled wildlife response team and scoping discussions on developing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for that team.

Sea Alarm staff attend an exchange meeting at ITOPF in London to discuss current issues in oiled wildlife response and potential areas for collaboration, including training opportunities.

March

At the 2015 Interspill conference, Sea Alarm presents on European Union Offshore Safety Directive’s oiled wildlife requirements and shares an information booth with OSRL, IPIECA and the Global Response Network.

Sea Alarm attends and facilitates the annual meeting between the Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) and key wildlife response organisations in the Netherlands to review 2014 accomplishments and prepare for activities in 2015 based on the national plan for response to oiled birds (Samenwerkingsregeling Besmeurde Vogels or SBV).

The Board of the national network for oiled birds in the Netherlands ((Stichting Olievogels Nederland or SON) meets, facilitated by Sea Alarm, which continues its role in helping the SON to develop as the national platform for professional oiled wildlife response.

Sea Alarm gives a presentation on oiled wildlife response at the Aberdeen branch of the Energy Institute, a professional body for the oil and gas industry focused on developing and sharing knowledge, skills and good practices.

Sea Alarm meets with managers at the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) at the new National Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Clackmannanshire. The SSPCA is the lead organisation for wildlife rehabilitation in Scotland.

April

The EUROWA website goes live, hosted on Sea Alarm’s Oiledwildlife.eu pages. The website serves as a source for details of the scope of the project, lists all partners and subcontractors, and provides updates on accomplishments to date and upcoming events and activities.

Sixteen participants from eight countries attend an oiled wildlife response planning course delivered by Sea Alarm to HELCOM and Bonn Agreement members, hosted by the European Community’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre in Brussels.

May

Paul Kelway and Claude Velter attend the Effects of Oil on Wildlife (EOW) conference in Alaska where they both present papers. Paul chairs a session and Claude presents a poster. Hugo Nijkamp serves on the program committee.

Claude Velter leaves Sea Alarm to take on an expanded role at the Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostende (WRCO), one of Europe’s leading professional wildlife centres. WRCO partners with Sea Alarm on a number of projects, allowing Claude to continue to work in close collaboration with Sea Alarm colleagues.

Sea Alarm presents at the May meetings of the OTSOPA Technical Working Group (Bonn Agreement) and HELCOM Response on recent European and international developments in oiled wildlife response, including reporting on the successful oiled wildlife response planning course organised in April.

September

Hugo Nijkamp, Saskia Sessions, and Paul Kelway participate in an oil company spill exercise in the Netherlands, providing guidance to the incident management team on potential challenges and needs for an oiled wildlife response.

The first face-to-face meeting of the ‘JIP20’ oil industry funded project, aiming to develop a system for mobilising international resources for oiled wildlife response, takes place in Brussels.

October

A two-day early stage oiled wildlife response management course is held in Ireland, commissioned and funded by the Irish Coast Guard. Sea Alarm, in cooperation with host organisation the Oiled Wildlife Response Network (OWRN, Ireland), the Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostende (WRCO, Belgium) and ProBird (Germany), facilitates training for a variety of local, regional and national stakeholders.

A second large-scale EUROWA event is held in Germany, hosted by partner organisation ProBird. Led by Sea Alarm, team members evaluate the state of presently held oiled wildlife response equipment and supplies, and practice mobilising the equipment as a field exercise.

Following the sinking of the Flinterstar, Sea Alarm assists Rijkswaterstaat and wildlife responders in the Netherlands, and serves as international coordinator of wildlife response, assisting Belgium and the Netherlands in joint efforts to respond to wildlife affected by the spill. Cross-border cooperation is very effective in this response.

November

The EUROWA team holds its last 2015 meeting to review progress to date and plan for 2016 activities and project deliverables.

Sea Alarm participates in a major mobilisation exercise organised by OSRL. The scenario included simulated discussions on mobilising an international wildlife response team to the affected country.

December

Stichting Olievogelopvang Nederland (SON) holds field exercise in the Wadden Sea islands, organised by Sea Alarm and Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend (WRCO). Rijkswaterstaat, the National Maritime Authority, funds this and other aspects of ongoing advancement of oiled wildlife response in the Netherlands.

Sea Alarm gives a presentation on oiled wildlife response at the OSRL Shareholder Extraordinary General Meeting in Southampton, explaining the  role Sea Alarm plays and the services it provides.