Sea Alarm is continuing its efforts to help Baltic countries to develop their oiled wildlife preparedness by assisting with organisation of two international events in 2012. These events had been proposed as part of a HELCOM Work Programme on Oiled Wildlife Preparedness and Response, submitted by Estonia, Sea Alarm and WWF Finland and adopted in 2010. An exchange meeting for the wildlife authorities in the different Baltic countries is scheduled in August 2012, and will be held in conjunction with the 2012 BALEX DELTA exercise in Finland. The meeting will be hosted by the Finnish Environment Institute and organised by WWF Finland in cooperation with Sea Alarm. The meeting will aim at discussing issues of national wildlife response planning and the use of mutual assistance instruments now available in HELCOM. A Baltic oiled wildlife responders exchange meeting is due to take place April 18-20 in Gdynia, Poland, in conjunction with the HELCOM RESPONSE meeting earlier that week. The workshop is organised by WWF Poland, Sea Alarm, WWF Finland and the Institute of Oceanography of the University of Gdansk, in partnership with HELCOM RESPONSE. This will build on a similar Baltic event organised in Finland in 2008, and will focus on network building, rehabilitation protocols for oiled birds and the logistics and practical challenges of setting up temporary facilities.
Apart from these 2012 activities, Sea Alarm is also working on organising a seminar on Post Release Survival and Euthanasia, to take place in 2013. This workshop has also been scheduled in the work programme but will be a joint activity between HELCOM and Bonn as it is an issue also of interest for North Sea Countries. Efforts are underway to find a host country for this event, which would be the first of its kind organised in Europe. The workshop aims to have a closer look at the dilemmas surrounding rehabilitation and euthanasia as alternative treatments for oiled animals and should provide useful tools and backgrounds that would help individual countries’ strategic decision making as part of their oil spill response planning.