Sea Alarm attended an international meeting jointly organised by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and DG Environment on 30 June at EMSA’s new headquarters in Lisbon. The meeting’s overarching objective was to discuss integrated issues of oil spill response in Europe by exploring how aspects of civil protection (shoreline response) and marine rescue and oil spill combat at sea could be better integrated at both national and European levels. Representatives from civil protection agencies and oil spill response authorities of most European coastal states participated, as well as representatives from the secretariats of some of the regional conventions.
Presentations given by representatives of various countries demonstrated different models to which national authorities work together in the coordination of a national pollution emergency response, with respect to at-sea combat and shoreline response issues. Following these presentations, the participants broke up in separate groups and carried out a table-top exercise prepared by EMSA and DG Environment.
Sea Alarm’s Hugo Nijkamp gave a well-received presentation on integrated aspects of an oiled wildlife incident, demonstrating the need for full integration of an oiled wildlife response into both at-sea oil combat (prevention of oiling, communication expectations and results of aerial surveillance, and early warning of coastal response teams) and on-shore response (hazing/deterrence, search and collection, rehabilitation/euthanasia, and impact assessment).
In their evaluation of the workshop, participants agreed that discussing integrated response issues in workshops like this was extremely useful. It can therefore be expected that the initiative will be repeated in the future.