North Adriatic maritime incident response project concludes

Koper, 28 February - A two-year international project to establish the North Adriatic Maritime Incident Response System (NAMIRS) is drawing to a close at the end of February. The project partners have sought to expand and connect operational procedures for taking action in the event of maritime pollution between Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.

The Slovenian and Italian authorities conducted a successful maritime exercise in the event of an oil spill as part of the project last November.

The scenario involved a collision between a cargo ship and a tanker in Italian waters off the coast of Debeli Rtič, a cape bordering on Italy to the north. The collision resulted in the simulated spill of 20,000 litres of light crude oil.

As the head of the project, Valter Suban from the Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport in Portorož, has told the STA, a risk analysis has been made as part of the project by using the latest computer software.

"We have found out where the greatest risk of collisions or grounding of vessels in the northern Adriatic Sea is the greatest, and based on this, the maximum and most likely amount of oil that would be spilled has been estimated," he said.

It has been determined which services are activated in the event of spills in all three countries and what equipment is used, and attention has been drawn to shortcomings in the methodology and naming of equipment.

Sensitive areas have also been analysed, not only on the basis of ecological standards, but also on the basis of geomorphological and socioeconomic factors, which resulted in a joint assessment that considers all three.

Funded by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the EUR 950,000 project started in March 2022 and was managed by the Executive Secretariat of the Central European Initiative in Trieste.

The project also serves to revise the sub-regional plan for the prevention of, preparedness for and response to major marine pollution incidents in the Adriatic Sea, which was devised in 2005, but is yet to be ratified by all three partner countries.