Arcopol2-The partners of the European project ARCOPOL Platform funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme met on 24 March 2015 on the sidelines of the “Interspill” International Conference in Amsterdam.

The meeting, which invited experts in oil spill modelling techniques, aimed to launch an expert working group to discuss possible improvements designed to make these technologies more reliable and improve their forecasting capacity.

This meeting was co-organized by MARETEC-IST (Portugal) and Marine Institute (Ireland), and coordinated by CPMR and CETMAR (ARCOPOL platform project coordination). The first part gave 16 project partners – including the CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission – and invited experts the chance to present the different technologies used and the problems that have been identified with regard to current technology. In addition to partners and stakeholders from the Atlantic region (Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal), the meeting provided an opportunity to talk with experts from other European sea basins (Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Greece, Federal Maritime and Hydrographics in Germany, and Met Norway) as well as with oil spill modelling experts from Canada (e.g. former expert from Environment Canada) and the United States (US Contingency Plan Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA).

In the second part of the meeting, experts looked together at the requirements that would help to streamline and improve forecasting through better cooperation, including the adoption of common standards and formats or open standardised databases for identifying oil products more quickly.

Finally, experts agreed on the interest of joining the Technological Platform set up under the ARCOPOL network, providing a framework for stakeholders to exchange knowledge, experience and good practices, identify capabilities, gaps and needs, define research priorities, and promote a sustainable collaboration structure for public and private organisations dealing with oil and Hazardous and Noxious Substance (HNS) spills.

The ARCOPOL Platform project is co-financed by the ERDF under the Interreg IVB Atlantic Area programme.