Sea Alarm plays a unique role within the global oiled wildlife community, serving as coordinator for many aspects of oiled wildlife preparedness and response. In every aspect of Sea Alarm’s work our focus is on ensuring that all stakeholders’ interests and concerns are taken into account in any decision making process.
Sea Alarm’s advocacy has led to many positive changes at the national and international level. In Europe, it has encouraged and inspired international processes which are increasing stakeholder awareness of the need to prepare for oiled wildlife incidents. More and more countries and regions are integrating response to oiled wildlife into their contingency plans. Sea Alarm also regularly attends oil spill meetings and conferences, reinforcing the importance of planning and training for wildlife response within overall spill response activities.
Wildlife response preparedness
Experience shows that the best way to ensure that wildlife affected by oil is successfully treated is to have a wildlife plan in place before a spill actually occurs. Although most coastal countries have an oil spill contingency plan in place, few of these plans include a section that explicitly deals with a planned response to oiled wildlife. This is surprising as a major oiling event can potentially affect tens of thousands of animals, especially birds, and once washed up on shore, a country will be facing a significant animal welfare problem. To solve that problem will require a dedicated response.
In Europe, Sea Alarm has been actively advocating for oiled wildlife to be included in planning and preparedness exercises within countries and regions. Recognising the importance of having a plan in place before an oil spill affects wildlife, Sea Alarm has developed expertise in helping create oiled wildlife response plans on local, national and regional levels. Sea Alarm’s advocacy programme aims at authorities, regional agreements and governmental institutions to the advance of instruments and programmes that assist and encourage the development of response plans and higher levels of international preparedness.
Sea Alarm supports anyone who wishes to be prepared for such a response by providing assistance with planning, the development of response infrastructure (e.g. capacity building, facilities), the facilitation of training and exercises and the identification and purchase of equipment.
Facilitating multi-stakeholder activities
Effective response to oil affected wildlife requires coordinated interactions between a variety of wildlife rescue and conservation NGOs, industry and governments, and each of these stakeholders has specific concerns and goals.
For years, Sea Alarm has been working closely with many such groups in many countries and understands the particular needs and requirements under which they operate. Sea Alarm can operate as a neutral, impartial facilitator between these groups, and is often able lead them into positive, constructive discussions to develop a consensus on critical issues regarding the planning of (oiled) wildlife emergency response.
When a spill involving wildlife occurs, Sea Alarm is prepared to assist with a response at various levels, from providing advice and support remotely to aiding with on the ground assessment, mobilisation of specialist equipment and personnel.
Sea Alarm provides assistance and advice during responses to oiled wildlife incidents. It assists local and international response teams to optimize their efforts and help ensure an effective response. Sea Alarm has also assisted in many European incidents by providing advice to local responders and/or mobilizing and coordinating response assistance.
In the last 15 years, Sea Alarm has provided assistance during numerous oiled wildlife incidents, including the Jessica (Galapagos, 2001), Prestige (Spain, 2002), Tricolor (Belgium, 2003), Mystery spill (Estonia, 2006), MS Server (Norway, 2007), Volganeft 139 (Russia 2007) Mystery spill, (Germany 2008), Full City (Norway, 2009,) Godafoss (Norway, 2011), Mercury Harbour (Netherlands, 2011), MS Oliva (Tristan da Cunha, 2011), Bonga (Nigeria, 2011), MS Flinterstar (Belgium, 2015), and Bow Jubail (Netherlands, 2018) spills.
Find out more about our response services