Sea Alarm’s participation in HELCOM RESPONSE concentrates around various topics intended to ensure wildlife response is well-integrated into overall oil spill response in the Baltic region.
As most wildlife response activities will be shore based, integration with shore protection and clean-up activities needs to be optimised. To further that aim Sea Alarm has joined the SHORE network under HELCOM RESPONSE. Sea Alarm hopes that the SHORE network will lead discussions at HELCOM RESPONSE that aim at ensuring a holistic approach to response preparedness, and the ability to oversee and direct a response which includes all elements of at sea combat, shoreline protection and cleanup, and the mitigation of impacts on wildlife and habitats.
This was the main message delivered by Hugo Nijkamp when attending the recent HELCOM Balex Delta exercise which was organised by Sweden in Kalskrona. This year’s edition was more extensive as it was organised with an additional budget from the European Commission. Sea Alarm was asked to participate in the discussions of the observer programme. Hugo emphasised the need for a holistic approach to oil spill response during a panel discussion.
Hugo also continues to chair the Expert Working Group on Oiled Wildlife Response, leading the group in various discussions, including the importance of Authority-NGO cooperation, dedicated exercises, training, and response integration. A current topic is the role of euthanasia as a response option which needs to be considered to serve animal welfare objectives, and when rehabilitation cannot be considered due to capacity limitations. The aspects of euthanasia in response preparedness will be more prominently included in a new version of the Self Assessment Tool (SAT version 2.0). If agreed by Helcom RESPONSE the SAT 2.0 will be used for near future progress reporting between the Contracting Parties.