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North Sea States adopt instrument on oiled wildlife response

A new Bonn Agreement Counter Pollution Manual Chapter on oiled wildlife response was adopted at the May 2011 meeting of OTSOPA (the Working Group on Operational, Technical and Scientific Questions concerning Counter Pollution Activities). The new Chapter, prepared by Sea Alarm and the Bonn Agreement Secretariat, details guidelines and principles that will assist the integration of foreign wildlife response experts into a national response system and guidance on developing national oiled wildlife response plans, which underpin international mobilisation of expertise from abroad. North Sea Countries are following in the footsteps of their Baltic colleagues in this respect, bringing European coastal countries closer together in their approach to responding to oiled wildlife incidents and so making it easier for them to work together during a spill where international assistance is needed. Contracting Parties to the Bonn Agreement have also adopted a joint Bonn/HELCOM workshop on euthanasia and post-release survival in the upcoming OTSOPA programme of activities, allowing North Sea Countries to also participate and learn from this important debate (see HELCOM news article).

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