Posted on 01/11/2013 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Phillip Island Nature Parks is set to test its oil spill response capabilities over the next six months with Exercise Pinguino – a series of training events designed to enhance staff and volunteer capabilities in responding to a marine pollution event.
The exercise begins November 13 when the Nature Parks and other agencies meet at the Nobbies Centre for a round-table discussion on wildlife emergency response, media and business continuity strategies in the event of an oil spill.
Dr Roz Jessop, Environment Manager at the Nature Parks, was present during the last major oiled wildlife incident to affect Phillip Island and understands the importance of responding quickly and working closely with other agencies.
“The first 48 hours of an oil spill response is critical to minimise the impacts to wildlife and the environment.”
“Exercise Pinguino will help us test the capabilities of our Incident Management Plans and give staff and volunteers a deeper understanding of best practice in responding to an oil spill event,” Dr Jessop said.
Training will continue in May 2014 with a simulated field exercise which will test the activation of volunteer networks and operations of the Wildlife Clinic in a mock oil spill scenario using model penguins.
The last major oil spill to occur near Phillip Island was in 2001, affecting 438 penguins. Following rescue and rehabilitation, 97 per cent of those penguins were released back into the wild. A new Wildlife Clinic was opened at the Penguin Parade in 2011 with state of the art facilities for cleaning and rehabilitating oiled seabirds.
Exercise Penguino prepares Nature Parks for oil spills
Ms Danene Jones - Communications Executive
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