The involvement of scientists and scientific institutions in the immediate aftermath of a spill is crucially important to assess the impact of an incident on vulnerable marine species. Sea Alarm has encouraged and facilitated the involvement of scientists in past incidents. It has also been actively involved in setting up and conducting an international project to develop guidelines for wildlife impact assessment studies, which is now widely available (Handbook on Oil Impact Assessment).
Sea Alarm aims to build dedicated networks of marine population scientists and identify priority projects that facilitate the availability of knowledge and scientists in the aftermath of incidents.
In 2008, Sea Alarm was one of three partners in a European project (Reducing the Impact of Oil Spills on Wildlife – RIOS) to identify scientific priorities for Europe and the wider North Atlantic. The results of this project, including workshop proceedings and an Action Plan, are available on www.oiledwildlife.eu.
Sea Alarm is actively promoting the RIOS Action Plan and has already adopted the plan with respect to the introduction of colour rings as a means of recording the post-release survival of rehabilitated birds. Another activity that will be carried out is the organisation of a training workshop on wildlife impact assessment.