Sea Alarm was invited to attend a stakeholder consultation meeting at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on 5 March in Lisbon, Portugal. EMSA is an EU agency working towards safer and cleaner shipping and has a multi-annual programme dedicated to preparedness and response to pollution at sea from ships. This year EMSA is undertaking a mid-term review of its antipollution activities, for which funds are already earmarked for the period 2007-2013. The consultation process is a way of getting feedback from European stakeholders on EMSA’s activities since 2007 and for these stakeholders to suggest future activities for the remainder of the funding period.
Sea Alarm was the only environmental NGO in attendance and was able to raise the subject of oiled wildlife response, in particular the lack of European structural funding for it now that the former Community Framework has ended. This Framework included an animal welfare theme, enabling Sea Alarm in conjunction with partners to carry out several oiled wildlife response projects in 2006-8 (more details can be found on www.oiledwildlife.eu). The idea of reintroducing a dedicated financial programme at EU level which specifically includes oiled wildlife response was put forward. Atlhough oiled wildlife response is traditionally something which has fallen outside of EMSA’s mandate, it was included in the programme of a 2009 EMSA/DG Environment workshop organised under the activities of EMSA’s Consultative Technical Group for marine pollution preparedness and response.