Posted on 05/05/2014 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Phillip Island Nature Parks is undertaking a simulated oil spill response field exercise on May 21-22 in Phase 2 of Exercise Pinguino.
Exercise Pinguino involves training exercises designed to test the Nature Parks’ oil spill response capabilities. The Phase 2 scenario will use a number of model penguins located at a Summerland Peninsula beach and involves enacting an Incident Management Plan and transporting the model penguins to the Nature Parks’ Wildlife Clinic.
Exercise Pinguino is a training exercise and does not involve live animals or the release of contaminants into the environment.
“The first 48 hours of an oil spill response is critical to minimise the impacts to wildlife and the environment,” Dr Roz Jessop, Environment Manager at the Nature Parks, said.
“Phase 2 of 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.”
Phase 1 of Exercise Pinguino was completed November last year when the Nature Parks and other agencies met for a round-table discussion on wildlife emergency response, media and business continuity strategies in the event of an oil spill.
The last major oil spill to impact Phillip Island was in 2001 and affected 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.