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A country’s ability to deal effectively with an oiled wildlife incident is dependent on many factors. It is important that leading organisations and individuals work together in a well organised and cost efficient way, so that they can achieve a set of pre-defined objectives, following an agreed strategy.

Whatever the level of preparedness of local responders, an incident is always unexpected and creates all kinds of new challenges. In the early aftermath of an incident there is typically an information vacuum in which it is unclear what is happening, who is doing what and which obstacles may be emerging.

Sea Alarm has a range of response services, outlined below, to assist local stakeholders in getting the situation under control, without taking over responsibilities or standing in the way. Having been involved in the response of a large number of oil spill incidents, Sea Alarm has extensive experience in dealing with oiled wildlife emergencies.

We aim to tailor our contribution by responding at different mobilisation levels. Learn more below about our services and how you can activate us.

Response Services

Supporting management

Sea Alarm provides strategic and tactical advice, coaching key individuals from day-to-day or, if necessary, from hour-to-hour, and helps to set up management and information systems.

Optimizing effectiveness

Sea Alarm can optimise a response by quickly analysing emerging needs and identifying crucial gaps. Sea Alarm uses its international network and contacts to make things work effectively and cost efficiently.

Identifying and integrating international resources

Sea Alarm can assist with the identification, mobilisation and integration of international resources, such as experts and equipment. Sea Alarm has an international network of oiled wildlife responders with branches on each continent and can therefore seek the assistance of the most experienced experts in the world.

Maximizing chances for compensation

Sea Alarm has close contacts with key organisations that are part of the international compensation mechanisms, such as P&I Clubs and the IOPC Fund. Sea Alarm is regarded as a reliable organisation that is able to implement international standards of good practice and optimise cost-efficiency. Sea Alarm’s involvement can make a considerable difference in increasing the probability that the costs of the response can be claimed back from these compensation mechanisms.

Activate Sea Alarm

Activate us on:
+32 2 2788 744 (office)
+32 49 49 000 12 (mobile)
+32 49 96 247 72 (mobile)
+32 48 72 642 61 (mobile)

Please activate Sea Alarm by telephone (not email) for emergencies.

Sea Alarm is on call 24 hours, 7 days a week to receive notifications of oiled wildlife incidents and requests for assistance. Sea Alarm has direct access to wildlife response groups and experts, is able to mobilise equipment and resources, and liaise with government and industry organisations at a moment’s notice.

Activating Sea Alarm’s emergency assistance service is free of charge. Responding to incidents is our job and we will not turn away anyone who is in need of professional assistance but does not have the resources to pay for it. We consider the search for adequate funding for a wildlife response as part of our work.

Mobilisation levels

Once Sea Alarm is notified that an incident that has occurred, it starts to gather essential information about the incident from a large number of sources. Based on this information, Sea Alarm assesses how it can best provide support under the given circumstances.

Sea Alarm provides the following three levels of assistance:

Level 1 Response:  Sea Alarm provides distant advice and coaching by, for example, bringing parties into contact with experts who can provide further advice. Sea Alarm can also facilitate the response by bringing all actors together under one umbrella of coordinated activities. This level of response is in many cases the first stage of Sea Alarm’s response services. If considered necessary, then the response may be upgraded to a level 2 response.

Level 2 Response: Sea Alarm makes an on-site visit. This means that a Sea Alarm expert, accompanied by one or two other experts conducts an on-site assessment to determine if more extended international support is needed. Sea Alarm funds itself in order to do this. Based on the assessment, the response may be upgraded to a level 3 response.

Level 3 Response: Sea Alarm identifies and assists with the mobilization of international resources when required. This could mean that equipment is mobilized, for instance the equipment stored at Oil Spill Response in Southampton. Or it could mean that wildlife response experts or even complete wildlife response teams are mobilized to assist the local response. A level 3 response is only mobilized if adequate funding can be provided. Therefore this stage is dependent upon on the availability of a response budget. Such a budget could be provided by a NGO, a maritime insurer, an intergovernmental body, an oil company, or a local governmental organisation. In relatively small scale responses, Sea Alarm is able to provide its own funding for the mobilization of one or two experts. The most appropriate funding solution is normally found as part of the level 1 or level 2 response activities.

International Resources

Global Resources


In close cooperation with Oil Spill Response, Sea Alarm identifies experts and expert groups that are able to assist at an international level, since 2013 through the Global Oiled Wildlife Response System (GOWRS) project. Sea Alarm facilitates discussions and meetings between these experts in order to identify best practices and model approaches which are, ideally, published or are made publicly available.


In cooperation with the network of global experts, Sea Alarm and Oil Spill Response have identified sets of crucial wildlife response equipment which have been purchased by Oil Spill Response. This specialized equipment is prepackaged, customs approved and stockpiles at Oil Spill Response bases in Southampton (UK), Bahrain, Florida (USA) and Singapore. The equipment is maintained in readiness at all times and can be mobilized on request by any interested party.

Sea Alarm has also developed equipment lists that can be used to check the completeness of national stocks.

Mobile units
Some countries or organisations have developed mobile equipment units. These include complete working units such as veterinary rooms, wash rooms or forward holding centres. In other cases there are plans to erect complete rehabilitation centres using party tents and pre-identified equipment, of which the most essential is stored in warehouses. Mobile units have been built using maritime containers which allow quick mobilisation via road or ship. Other units have been built in trailers.

Sea Alarm maintains an overview of existing mobile units and can assist with the mobilisation of these units or provide ideas and examples for development of new units.

European Resources

Sea Alarm has been active for many years in the identification and development of European resources for oiled wildlife response. Today, Sea Alarm acts as coordinator of the EUROWA Network.


Sea Alarm’s network of European experts in composed of key individuals based in European coastal countries who work in marine wildlife rehabilitation centres, NGOs, governmental organisations, scientific institutes and universities. Most of these individuals have been involved in oiled wildlife incidents and have demonstrated their skills under stressful circumstances. Sea Alarm organises training events and workshops to support their further development. The most forward-thinking wildlife response groups in Europe are currently members of the EUROWA Network, providing a coordinated pool of responders, trained to the same standards, who are available for European wildlife emergencies. EUROWA response assistance can be mobilised via Sea Alarm.


The EUROWA Network has its own stockpile of oiled wildlife response equipment, which is regularly maintained in readiness and is available for any interested party in Europe to mobilise from its warehouse close to Ostend, Belgium. In addition, some stakeholders in various European countries have developed mobile facilities and sets of mobile equipment. Sea Alarm tracks these developments and is able to identify and arrange for the mobilisation of these sets of equipment on request.

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