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Oil Spill incident in Norway

Sea Alarm assisted in a small-scale wildlife rehabilitation operation in Norway, following the grounding of the containership Godafoss on 17th February. The vessel ran aground at the mouth of the Oslo Fjord near to the Ytre Havel marine park.

The vessel lost approximately 500t of fuel oil, which oiled shorelines on both Norwegian and Swedish coasts and oil combatting operations were mobilised by authorities of both countries. A few hundred birds were reported oiled along Norwegian coasts. Icy conditions made it very difficult to capture any oiled birds safely and there was also a lack of small boats for nearshore access with engines capable of operating at such low temperatures. The cold also created a very low chance of survival for oiled animals which could not be captured immediately. For these reasons, the authorities adopted an approach of euthanising oiled birds. However, a small scale wildlife rehabilitation effort was mobilised by Friends of the Earth Norway for oiled swans, as these could be captured more easily and are considered more resilient to oiling. Sea Alarm received a request from FOE Norway to assist with providing personnel for treating a small number of oiled swans. Sea Alarm arranged for two German responders from ProBird to be mobilised to Norway to help set up a small temporary facility and to deal with the oiled swans captured. The responders were stood down after a week when no more oiled swans were brought in and those treated were later released.

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