At the turn of the new millennium, Sea Alarm was still a young organisation aiming to bring more professionalism into the field of oiled wildlife response by working in cooperation with animal care specialists, governments and industry stakeholders. This journey to professionalism, marked by a number of serious oil spills, was not a smooth one.
Throughout its 20 years of existence, Sea Alarm has assisted many European countries by motivating, initiating, informing and facilitating national processes, with the aim of raising awareness and improving response planning and capacity building.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conferences everywhere are being cancelled, however, the Arctic Preparedness Platform for Oil Spill and Other Environmental Accidents (APP4SEA) elected to hold a Twitter conference, at which Sea Alarm was an invited participant.
In November, Sea Alarm ran a successful workshop in Barcelona on marine emergencies involving sea turtles.
The EUROWA project partners met at RSPCA Mallydams Wood in October 2017 for the first in-person meeting since the end of the EU-funded aspect of the project.
The European Parliament (EP) Resolution of 16 March 2017, An integrated EU policy for the Arctic (2016/2228(INI)), includes wording suggested by Sea Alarm encouraging all Arctic states to develop oiled wildlife response plans.
After two years of working together, Sea Alarm and its project partners concluded the EU-funded EUROWA project at the end of 2016. The project has broken much new ground in European oiled wildlife response.
Sea Alarm’s staff is heavily involved in the EUROWA Module project, which is co-funded by the European Commission. The project has just started its second and last year, in which two training events are amongst the main deliveries.
Sea Alarm led a very well-attended training course in Brussels, which was kindly hosted by the European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordinating Centre (ERCC), introducing attendees to the complexities of oiled wildlife response and the importance of detailed planning for such responses.
Information regarding the European Oiled Wildlife Response Assistance Module (EUROWA) can now be found online. Oiledwildlife.eu, the key reference site for oiled wildlife response in Europe, is hosting the EUROWA pages which feature background information, news, publications, and details of events related to the project.
The 2015 Interspill conference in Amsterdam provided Sea Alarm with the opportunity to present an analysis of the European Union’s Offshore Safety Directive’s oiled wildlife requirements to members of the oil and gas industry and spill response agencies.
Sea Alarm is providing its oiled wildlife planning course, free of charge, to European authorities who have responsibility for this issue in their country. Registration is still open for the course which will be held on 16-17 April at the Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) in Brussels.