Title: Maritime Transport in the Gulf of Trieste - a Threat to Secovlje Salt Pans?
Publisher: Pomorski muzej "Sergej Masera"
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC52632
ISBN: 978-961-91279-8-8
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC52632
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Among the thousands of commercial vessels that sail into the gulf of Trieste destined to ports in Koper, Trieste, Monfalcone, Grado and Portoro¿, are those transporting dangerous cargo such as crude oil, crude oil derivatives and various chemicals, amounting to over 40 million tons a year. Further, the northern Adriatic coastal region is threatened not only by pollution following collision or grounding but also by intentional discharge from all types of ships dumping oily water and sometimes alien species in discharged ballast water. The sensitivity of the Slovenian coast is greatest in the western stretch where the salt pans and the regional park are situated. For ensuring the protection of such areas a vessel traffic management system and joint pollution combating arrangements are essential. Among Slovenia, Italy and Croatia a special group has been launched for preparing a plan for ballast water management in the Adriatic and a sub-regional contingency plan was passed for the cooperation, intervention and suppression of the consequences of serious oil spills and leakage of other dangerous substances into the sea. Moreover, newly adopted European instruments like CleanSeaNet service, which started on April 2007 under the supervision of the European Maritime Safety Agency, contribute to overall environmental protection. Lectures given during the AMMM Meeting on the topic of ¿Salt pans: Cultural Landscape in Danger¿ in Piran in 2006 [1] exposed the environmental sensitivity of the salt pans in the northeastern Mediterranean. At that time we used data from the AESOP project (Aerial and Satellite Surveillance of Operational Pollution in the Adriatic Sea) [2] conducted by REMPEC and EC JRC, wherein the objective was to discover illicit oil pollution instances in the Adriatic. Recently, on August 6th 2008, a very mysterious spill occurred and affected the western Istrian coast. Three days later, an unusually intense storm (reports of sustained winds up to 180 km/h, lasting some 45 minutes) hit the area, and part of the hidden/sunken oil beached on the coast in Piran Bay in the vicinity of the Secovlje salt pans. The rapid action of closing water gates to the salt pans was suggested by the research team involved. Such relatively minor spills should be viewed as warnings of what may happen in case of a major accidental pollution. This paper will provide more data about the problem of illicit pollution, and focus on research work based on the case of this recent oil pollution. Attention will be given to threats of accidental pollution and ideas will be suggested for enhancing preparedness and response through the integration of the latest technology, including the use of a simulator for managing crises at sea.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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