4th Sea Alarm Conference

1 October 2007 to 3 October 2007

The 4th Sea Alarm Conference has been held on October 1 - 3 2007 at the Thermae Palace Hotel in Ostend, Belgium. The conference was co-hosted by Sea Alarm Foundation, Flanders Marine Institute, Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (BMM/MUMM), Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend (Opvangcentrum voor Vogels en Wilde Dieren Oostende) and Tourism Ostend.

About the Conference

Each year in Europe, thousands of marine birds and other wild animals are impacted by oil pollution.

Especially when large numbers of animals come ashore as a result of a single event, local resources that are needed for a successful response may quickly run out. Cooperation between the authorities, NGO’s, scientists and industry stakeholders is needed to tackle the various challenges. A pre-spill defined wildlife response plan is the best guarantee that agreed objectives are met in a cost-efficient and effective way.

Particularly in the last fifteen years, significant advances in the field of effective oiled wildlife response have been made and expertise is becoming increasingly available in the form of response plans, peer reviewed literature, handbooks, guidelines and active networks of specialists and interested parties.

Sea Alarm Conferences have proven to be an effective way to boost the development and use of good practices and international cooperation. Traditionally the conferences have been instrumental in generating a balanced debate and identifying new challenges and solutions out of a European perspective. The Conferences have been appreciated as an effective means to bring a wide variety of stakeholders together, assess the state of the art with respect to oiled wildlife response and preparedness, and prioritise amongst activities that build upon new insights.

This year, the Conference will be held in Ostend (Belgium), where in 2003 over 4500 live oiled birds were treated that were affected by oil from MS Tricolor. The conference will review the results of different European workshops that were held in the course of 2006, review and discuss the situation in different European countries, take note of new insights and tools from in and outside Europe and aims to develop recommendations for action.

It is anticipated that this Conference, which is organised on a larger scale that any of its predecessors, will see a wide field of participants and involvement from governments, oil spill response companies, oil and maritime industries, wildlife responders and NGO’s.