This week was the closure of MARPOCS, a project co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the DG-ECHO “Civil protection mechanism”, which main aim is to reinforce cross-border strategies to tackle marine pollution by harmful and potentially dangerous substances (SNP) and, in particular, by hydrocarbons and chemical discharges.
MARPOCS, which began in January 2016, promoted a common operational framework, with cutting-edge tools for model-based decision-making, and exercises for SNP and hydrocarbon spills, adapted to the region and supported by the cooperation in the region and the training of local, regional and international authorities.
Among the activities carried out in the framework of this project, we stress on the following:
* The definition of operative and tactical detection systems based on models, supported by a system of modeling crude oil spills and harmful and dangerous substances using new and improved systems of high resolution meteorological and oceanic prediction.
* Automatic prediction of spill behavior detected by automatic maritime surveillance Services (detection of oil spills by satellite).
* Training sessions, courses and practical demonstrations, with special emphasis on emergency preparedness or response scenarios involving several nations.
* Multidisciplinary evaluation of the typical and dynamic coastal risk in the area of interest, the effect of identifying “hot spots”, improve the management of response resources and allow real-time monitoring of the coast.
All these acctiones are part of a common strategy for mutual assistance and multinational preparation, reinforcing the responsiveness to epidosios accidental contamination.
The meeting was attended by the Instituto Superior Técnico-IST (Portugal), which leads the project, Action modules (Portugal, now within the Bentley Systems Group), Centre of documentation, Research and experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution-CEDRE ( France), the Regional Agency for the development of research, technology and research of Portugal (ARDITI), the oceanic platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN), the research group on Technologies, management and environmental biochemistry of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC-TGBA) with assistance from the Science Technology Park Foundation and the Institut National de Recherche Halieutique-INRH (Morocco).
PLOCAN and the University of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria have provided basic information as well as oceanographic measurements of the Canary Islands, essential for the calibration and adjustment of prediction models in the area. They have also provided and adapted information for vulnerability maps, which are necessary to assess the risk areas that spills of hydrocarbons and other substances may cause.