In 2019, Sea Alarm was invited by Shell Shipping & Maritime to participate in a large-scale oil spill response exercise – Exercise Silver Mermaid – in Aarhus, Denmark.
Sea Alarm’s participation in HELCOM RESPONSE concentrates around various topics intended to ensure wildlife response is well-integrated into overall oil spill response in the Baltic region.
Phase two of the Global Oiled Wildlife Response System (GOWRS) project recently kicked off in Belgium providing another two years in which to further the objective of developing and improving international cooperation and preparedness for oiled wildlife incidents.
In December 2015, a field exercise at ECOMARE, on the Wadden Sea island of Texel, tested local oiled wildlife response capability and ECOMARE’s ability to function as a stabilisation centre. Sea Alarm and Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend organised the exercise as part of the Dutch national oiled wildlife training and exercise programme.
In October, Sea Alarm, in cooperation with the Oiled Wildlife Response Network (OWRN, Ireland), Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend (WRCO, Belgium) and ProBird (Germany), facilitated two one-day training courses focusing on the early stages of oiled wildlife response.
In October Sea Alarm and partner organisation Pro-Bird co-hosted a wildlife response equipment exercise in Hamburg, Germany to review an existing stockpile of equipment, practice mobilising it, and make recommendations for improvements.
In September, Sea Alarm was invited to participate in a major table-top oil spill exercise in Tarragona, Spain organized by Shell. The exercise, named Medspan, involved 120 members of Shell’s Oil Spill Expertise Centre (OSEC) as well as personnel from Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL), Spill Consult, International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF), and Sea Alarm.
The Claims Management Team of IOPC Funds invited Sea Alarm to give a two-day tailored Oiled Wildlife Preparedness and Planning course in early December. Hugo Nijkamp, Saskia Sessions and Claude Velter presented the course, the highlight of which was an integrated table top exercise, where aspects of planning and response efficiency could be practiced.
In June, Hugo Nijkamp and Claude Velter provided Sea Alarm’s two-day Wildlife Response Planning Course to emergency response officers from Oil and Gas Operators in Brunei. This course looks at the various challenges that oil spills could pose to wild animals, and the various wildlife incident scenarios that could occur.
There are still places available at a two-day Oil Spill Response (OSRL) course which will introduce participants to the issues specific to responding to wildlife during a spill. The course will be held in Ostend, Belgium on 9-10 October 2014.
As part of a multi-year contract with Rijkswaterstaat, Sea Alarm designed, prepared and facilitated a two-day exercise event, held in October 2013 in ‘s-Gravezande, the Netherlands, which included three field and two table-top exercises.
A major part of Sea Alarm’s work is assisting coastal governments, NGOs and other agencies in preparedness for an oiled wildlife response. Regular meetings, trainings and exercises of response plans ensure on-going readiness to respond to wildlife threatened by oil spills.