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Research Prestige Scientific Intervention Programme

Scientific Intervention Programme of Ministry of Science and Technology has been prepared from the point of view of a project of scientific nature directed towards having necessary knowledge for tackling questions arisen by Prestige vessel oil spill available at operative responsible disposal, as at present moment as in their future consequences, in the short term and long term. In the same way, it tries to lay the foundations for the answer faced with possible future accidents. Maximum competence and excellence have to hold sway selection criteria of experts and actions that, inevitably, have a dynamic nature, dependent on development of isolated and diffused spill and on results and proposals achieved in the future.

To guarantee appropriate initial actions and coordination of environmental restoration ways, permitting a minimal impact over marine environment and seashore, it is essential to know recent historical reports, to consider major advances in the field of Science and to be based on quality research. Quality research is undoubtedly one of the necessary requirements for a reliable oceanic prediction and for effective implementation and optimization of ways of struggle against pollution, heading to minimize impacts over marine environmental and seashore.

In general terms, oil spill of Prestige vessel concerned at the moment to marine zone and shore of the North of Iberian Peninsula arises several questions that have to be answered from research multidisciplinary approaches. By way of example:

  • What is the performance of the shipwreck and fuel oil in the sinking zone?
  • What is the performance of spilled fuel oil in oceanic environment and coastal zone?
    How long is foreseeable to remain in environment?
  • What restoration techniques should be advised?
  • Which will be the effects in the short term, half term and long term over biological communities, considering ecological and economic value?
  • What convenient measures should be aimed to fishing activities and food control?

To answer in the appropriate way to the arisen scientific challenge, it has been arranged the suggested actions in six large work programmes:

1. Shipwreck study from the point of view of the ship structure and its contents features and performance.

2. Monitoring and modelling of possible oil spills trajectories from sinking area, their oceanographic assessment and their impact on implemented measures aimed at fighting the spills in harbours, estuaries and coasts in general.

3. Spilled fuel oil environmental performance study for monitoring its distribution and environmental persistence.

4. Impact study on biological environment from the point of view of its ecological and economical value.

5. Socioeconomic impact of the Prestige accident and risks prevention proposals (protocols and contingency plans).

6. General coordination and horizontal tasks for securing the whole research effort optimization and synergies and for appropriate transference of results to society.

Several tasks and specific research actions are articulated in this six work programmes framework, for which it was settled three temporary frameworks: 2 months, 6 months and 3 years.

Finally, it should be emphasized that interdisciplinarity characterizes this Programme, as well as active participation of researches from whole Research, Development and Innovation (I+D+I) national system, including also participation of companies and coordination with public administrations responsible for marine and coastline environment management.

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© 2003-2007 OTVM
Date: 24/06/2019
Oficina Técnica de Vertidos Marinos
Universidade de Vigo