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Spill Notification Point
Competent National Authority
The competent national authority for oil spill emergencies in the Seychelles is the Seychelles Coast Guard (contact details above).
The Seychelles National Oil Spill Contingency Plan is maintained by the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG). The plan was last revised in June 2000 and is currently being updated. A completed plan is expected in August 2005. An updated atlas of environmentally sensitive areas will be annexed to the contingency plan. The SCG at Victoria is the designated Command Post for oil spill response operations. According to the national plan, in the event of an oil spill in Seychelles waters the lead agency for response would be the SCG and a senior officer would be appointed as On-Scene Commander (OSC). The organisational structure for the Seychelles NCP is based on the Unified Command System, whereby stakeholders (all agencies with jurisdictional responsibility) are actively involved in the management of the incident. The Unified Command would be composed of the commanding officer of the SCG, the police commissioner, the principal secretary of the Ministry of Environment, the director general of Maritime Administration and the chief executive officer of the Seychelles Port Authority. The chairman of the Seychelles National Disaster Committee would fill the role of Emergency Response Director (ERD) and would assume ultimate responsibility in the event of the spill and has authority to activate the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan.
If a spill occurs at a location remote from Mahé an appropriate interim OSC will be called upon to organise the initial response. When the actual OSC arrives on-site he is briefed by the interim OSC and subsequently takes over responsibility. The OSC is primarily responsible for the operational response and management of clean-up and logistical activities on-site.
Response to a major spill would require emergency international assistance. Arrangements can be sought under international treaties and under contracts with oil shipping companies operating in Seychelles.
The OSC would evaluate the level of response needed for an incident. The NCP outlines the various protection and cleanup techniques available and when they would be appropriate for use. Dispersants would only be used by trained technicians under the supervision of trained scientists and in deep, tidal water. As outlined in the NCP, Seychelles has many different shoreline and close-shoreline habitats, including rocky shores, sand beaches, coral reefs and mangroves, each with their own cleanup considerations..
Sufficient resources are maintained for a Tier 1 response. The SCG has received oil spill equipment from the US government (provided by GEF, World Bank). This includes boom, skimmers, temporary storage and sorbents. The SCG has three vessels for response. Other vessels could be provided by the Seychelles Island Development Corporations, Port and Marine Services Division and Seychelles Fishing Authority. Local and foreign fishing vessels may also be called upon. The Island Development Company has two aircraft which could be used for surveillance and response. Heavy equipment could be provided by local private companies. An inventory of equipment and a list of international pollution response services are provided in the NCP.
Previous Spill Experience
It is understood that minor spills in the harbour in the past have generally been dealt with by dispersant spraying from hand-held equipment. Dispersants were also used in the CHANCE 801 incident, when the vessel ran aground off Store Island, and the spill which resulted from the grounding and sinking of the ENNERDALE off Mahé.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Commission de l'Ocean Indien with Madagascar, Mauritius, The Comoros and La Reunion.
- Nairobi Convention (with states of the East African Region).
- Kenya, Seychelles and Tanzania have set up a Regional Centre for Search and Rescue, expected to evolve into a Global Maritime Distress and Safety Centre.
Date of issue: June 2005
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