We are pleased to announce that as of 1st January 2012 Claude Velter joins Sea Alarm on a part-time basis as Senior Technical Adviser. Claude brings a wealth of hands-on seabird rehabilitation experience with him from his years managing day to day operations and acting as Chairman of the Board of the Vogelopvangcentrum (Wildlife Rescue Centre) Ostend, which he set up with friends in 1984. Claude previously worked as a nature warden for the Flemish Government (Nature, Forest and Nature Inspectorate). During the Tricolor oil spill in 2003, he was appointed by the Flemish government to manage oiled wildlife response operations, including setting up a temporary rehabilitation centre where over 4500 animals were treated. After this incident, Claude was granted a 5 year sabbatical from his government post to develop a professional wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre in Ostend, raising funds for the Centre to be set up and to employ permanent staff. Claude is well known in the European and international oiled seabird rehabilitation community. He has responded with Sea Alarm in several incidents and acted as lecturer at Sea Alarm’s international training events. One of Claude’s main responsibilities for Sea Alarm will be assisting in the delivery of the Netherlands national wildlife planning project with Rijkswaterstaat (see separate news article). He will divide his time between Sea Alarm and the Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend, creating an important link between Sea Alarm and one of the leading seabird rehabilitation centres in Europe. Claude has been a long-serving member of the Sea Alarm Board and will step down this post when he takes up his new role as a Sea Alarm employee. We look forward to working with him!