Oil spill preparedness in Lofoten Vesterålen and Senja is inadequate for oil activities in the northeaster Norwegian Sea. But while oil projects is this area may lie in the future, an environmental threat that exists now, is shipping.
In course of the last three years, 845 Russian ships loaded with a total of 37.5 million tons of oil passed Lofoten.
The Lofoten Council, a joint political body for six municipalities in Lofoten calls for improved oil spill response preparedness in Lofoten. Although the Lofoten Council is split down the middle on the question of an impact assessment regarding oil activities in new areas outside Lofoten and Troms, they stand united behind the demand for improved oil spill response.
“Oil spill response in Lofoten must be improved quickly. It’s is simply not good enough today. We need good oil response, whether Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja are opened or not,” say leader of the council Lillian Rasmussen to Stavanger Aftenblad.
Emergency Director in the Norwegian Coastal Administration John Marius Ly says to Aftenbladet that the oil spill preparedness is in line with recommendations they have gained through studies of the emergency preparedness situation along the Norwegian coast. This includes preventive measures as mandatory shipping lanes and towing capacities. Oil spill preparedness is in accordance with the money allocated for this means.