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EUROWA equipment inspection and exercise exerciseIn 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.

This was second large-scale event of the EUROWA project, which is developing a module comprised of experts and equipment for oiled wildlife response in Europe. German authorities involved in oil spill preparedness took the opportunity to organise one of their regular meetings around the exercise, allowing them to view the equipment and meet the international wildlife response community involved in the EUROWA project.

During this event, the stockpile (donated to Sea Alarm by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and stored in Hamburg) was moved to a separate location and unpacked. The mobilisation exercise helped the participating EUROWA team members to put into practice the logistics of transporting and utilising the equipment, and to evaluate whether procedures need alteration or improvement.

While the stockpile is an asset for international response in Europe, it requires appropriate storage and regular maintenance and review. Determining the best organization with the relevant specialist logistics experience (which might be a European NGO or an authority) to take over the longer-term management of the stockpile is one of the key deliverables of EUROWA.

This assessment allowed the EUROWA team to evaluate the current stockpile and to make recommendations for updating and supplementing it to reflect latest knowledge of oiled wildlife response. The next EUROWA newsletter, to be published near the end of 2015, will include further details.

EUROWA collaborators attending this exercise were ELF (Estonia), ONIRIS (France), Pro-Bird (Germany),  RSPCA (UK), Sea Alarm (Belgium) and WRC Ostend (Belgium).

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