Delegates from across Europe and the UK have been in Falmouth to attend a conference on oil pollution hosted by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners.

The event, which shared best practice and findings from recent research on oil pollution, included speakers from France, Spain and Portugal as well as the UK. At the conference staff from FHC also shared their experience of a recent oil spill response test exercise. 

he outcomes incorporated the research findings from two European projects the team has been involved in: Oil Spill Prevention and Response at Local Scales (SPRES) and Improvements of Shorelines Defences Against Marine Pollution (ISDAMP).

The two research projects, which started in 2012, aim to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of oil spill response in Europe and beyond. Falmouth Harbour Commissioners has been involved with the research alongside six other case study ports. The study has seen experts develop forecasting software to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of oil-collecting devices as well as designing risk assessment and planning tools used to inform and improve response plans.

As part of the event FHC also talked through the deployment of a 280-metre boom, an oil-collecting device, which was in situ in Falmouth Harbour from May 13 to May 23.

Simon Porter from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the authority responsible for UK pollution response and legislation, was among the event’s speakers.

Simon said: “I know everyone got a lot from the conference. FHC’s booming solution was most interesting and innovative. I hope that others will see the benefit in this and it can be taken forward.”

Captain Mark Sansom, harbour master and chief executive, Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, said: “By being involved in these European research projects we have enhanced our boom deployment ability and skills and are proud to be able to showcase our latest findings with academics and practitioners.”

“It is great to be involved in pioneering technology that aims to reduce the impact that oil pollution has on the environment and champion best practice across the UK, Europe and worldwide.”

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