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"While the overall risks of sea transportation grow, manning onboard has been minimised and crews frequently suffer from fatigue ­ one of the most common causes of accidents," he points out. As climate change brings more extreme weather, safety must be constantly improved. one step is the implementation of the software program AIS+, which provides ships with fast information on weather, ice conditions and traffic. all eyes on the archipelago Shipping regulations in the Baltic have become stricter since 2005, when the International Maritime organisation declared it a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area, the same status as the great Barrier Reef, the Florida Keys and the galapagos Islands. "our special concern is the gulf of Finland, where the growing traffic from the Russian oil ports poses the main risk," cautions Bergman. "Both Sweden and Finland have large archipelago areas. A large oil spill would destroy these clusters of islands for living, work and recreational purposes for decades." Fortunately, Bergman believes Finland has a good level of readiness for oil spill control, including several new and recently-converted oil combat vessels. Call for the clEAnUp ExpERTS W hen the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster struck in April 2010, Lamor, a family-owned company in Porvoo, Finland, leapt into action. "Lamor became the largest supplier of response equipment for the biggest maritime oil spill ever," says CEO Fred larsen. Our Emergency Response Team (ERT) played a significant role. We've had personnel in Louisiana commissioning and maintaining recovery equipment as well as training local fishermen in spill response." Lamor installed collection units on more than 450 vessels. Despite this, and during the most hectic period, Lamor delivered equipment and ERT for other spills in China, Singapore and Michigan, USA, recalls Larsen. The company, which specialises in oil containment booms and skimmers, took the busy season in stride based on experience. Lamor helped clean up after the 1999 Erika tanker accident near France, the 2002 Prestige sinking off Spain and numerous spills in Russia. Larsen says there are crucial lessons to be learnt from the Gulf of Mexico experience. "Preparedness needs to be improved globally in terms of stricter legislation and regulations. When an accident happens, there's never enough equipment at hand. More attention needs to be put on developing contingency plans by experts in the fields, not just `copypaste consultants' as was revealed during the Deepwater Horizon spill." 19

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