Norwegians spend £4m to prepare for oil spills –

Norwegians spend £4m to prepare for oil spills Published:  17 December, 2008

NORWAY has launched a ground breaking new initiative to ensure that any oil spills from its offshore drilling and storage fields do not pollute fishing grounds around its shores, which are sometimes fished by Scottish boats.

Sjur Knudsen, managing director of the Norwegian Clean Seas Association. said: ‘Oil spill preparedness is expensive. That is why we have decided to boost the annual general financial support to the inter-municipal preparedness areas by more than 50 per cent.’

A key factor in the operation in overall preparedness is cooperation with the fishing fleet, particularly in the north. There is drilling activity off the coast of Finnmark, and 28 coastal fishing boats are included in the oil spill preparedness plan in this connection.

He added: ‘These are fishermen with good knowledge of local conditions and boats with the necessary towing capacity. Their crews have received special training. Experience shows that this type of cooperation functions well and strengthens preparedness, and that is why we want to develop it further.’

There will also be a faster response from the emergency preparedness organisations at various coastal points.This will ensure the best possible preparedness along the coast and in the beach zone.