Responding to pollution threats rapidly and effectively


A recent case of pollution in the Baltic Sea has shed light on how the new SafeSeaNet incident report module can bring added operational value to cross-border communication in an emergency.

On 2 April, lumps of oil several metres wide were found in bands along the coastline of the Baltic Sea, north-eastern Germany. Drift modelling showed that the pollution was also likely to affect the neighbouring Polish coast, so German services sent an incident report through SafeSeaNet to their counterparts in Poland.

The Polish authorities activated local pollution response services,and directed aerial surveillance to the area. Their pollution prevention actions were then fed into the initial SafeSeaNet incident report, which was sent back through the central SafeSeaNet system to Germany.

This example shows clearly how cross-border communication through SafeSeaNet can be effective in fighting pollution.

Source: EMSA

About SafeSeaNet

SafeSeaNet was established as a centralised European platform for maritime data exchange, linking together maritime authorities from across Europe. It enables European Union Member States, Norway, and Iceland, to provide and receive information on ships, ship movements, and hazardous cargoes.

Main sources of information include Automatic Identification System (AIS) based position reports, and notification messages sent by designated authorities in participating countries.

SafeSeaNet supports:

Safer seas and better protection of seafarers through:

  • early identification of high-risk vessels
  • earlier precautionary actions and risk mitigation
  • improved emergency response to incidents or pollution.

More efficient operations by:

  • standardising access to data
  • helping users to respect their legal obligations
  • increasing the efficiency of port logistics (e.g. providing more accurate estimated times of arrival, details of waste handling, etc.)

High quality EU level monitoring by providing:

  • accurate, up-to-date information on the location of ships and their cargoes
  • reliable statistics for EU MemberStateand EFTA bodies.