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Training exercise ‘Parlita’

On 28 March 2008 a national oiled wildlife response table-top exercise took place in Ostend, Belgium. The exercise was organised by the Governor”s Office with the assistance of the Coastal Coordination Point and Sea rouletteThe table-top exercise, developed by Sea Alarm, aimed to simulate the first meeting of the wildlife response coordination team in a realistic setting. The scenario involved a Maltese tanker (Parlita) that grounded on the Flemish Banks in January, in the middle of the wintering bird season. All individuals and organisations that are appointed as key coordinators in the Belgian Oiled Bird Response Plan participated in the exercise. The exercise required them to exchange and examine the available information, and define their priority actions for the first 48 hours.

The exercise went well and was considered “important and refreshing” by the participants. Several gaps in the existing response plan were revealed as a result. A new version of the Plan, which rectifies the identified gaps and includes other changes, has since been published by the Governor”s Office. It was agreed that ideally, a training exercise should be held every year.

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