WGMABS meets at the University of Helsinki, Finland, 6–10 November. The interdisciplinary group focuses on managing the risks of oil spills in the Baltic Sea. The Gulf of Finland in particular is a very risky area due to the tanker traffic heading westwards from Russian ports and crossing traffic between Helsinki and Tallinn. The shoreline is serpentine like, especially on the Finnish side, and the clean-up of oil is very costly.
This environmental uniqueness combined with increasing shipping activities have brought about a sharp focus on improved maritime safety in the Gulf of Finland and wider Baltic Sea. There is a need for a proactive approach to identifying and analyzing risks, and finding cost-effective measures to reduce them.
WGMABS has taken on the demanding challenge of developing models and eventually advice aiming at preventing accidents. The groups consists of ICES member country modelers and those involved in the practical preparedness in the case of oil spills, and intends to form an advisory group for the area based on the support of regional risk management proposals by stakeholder groups and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The meeting includes an open stakeholder session, which takes place on 9 November. The session consists of presentations of HELCOM policy, decision-making in cases of large-scale vessel accidents, experiences in oil tanker risk governance, private-public partnership in Arctic risk governance, insurance practices and their impacts on risks, and the role of science in problem solving.
The press is welcome to attend the event, and interviews of scientists and stakeholders can be arranged. Address: University of Helsinki, Athena, room 168, Siltavuorenpenger 3 A, Helsinki. For more information, contact Sakari Kuikka, Chair of WGMABS.
WGMABS works to develop models aiming at preventing maritime accidents in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea.