maritime safety

→ Improving the abilitity of local authorities and maritime organisations to deliver co-ordinated activities to tackle the risk of maritime pollution in the Channel.

The Channel is a high risk area for maritime safety and has very specific characteristics compared with other European and global coastlines. Although safety at sea has been an issue which has led to very close cooperation between the two countries, the same cannot be said for other issues. The French and English approaches to managing marine pollution, for example, are very different due to the administrative structure of each country.

Combatting marine pollution and managing large-scale land pollution are the responsibilities of the State in both France and the United Kingdom. But in the case of major pollution, local authorities are necessarily mobilised and involved in management of the crisis. For smaller pollution situations, statistically the most likely to occur, responsibility lies with the local authorities.

Awareness of Channel local authorities

An awareness-raising conference was held on 28 January 2011 at Fécamp on the theme of "Local authorities along the Channel coastline: activitiesand resources to tackle the risk of accident-related marine pollution" The conference highlighted the risk of pollution in the Channel and the respective roles of government and local authorities in dealing with the risk, existing prevention and management tools and potential ways to improve the readiness of local authorities.

Download the Conference proceedings

Download the Fécamp Declaration "Accidental marine pollution and Local authorities"

A study of maritime pollution risk in the Channel was conducted to highlight potential risks, issues and the tools available to combat maritime pollution in the Channel. It also recommended possible areas for improvement. The goal was to increase awarenss among Elected Members and local politicians in the Channel area as well as State and local authorities about the need for joint working in preparing for potential marine pollution incidents.

Download the Study

Connecting Channel local authorities

At the fourth "Cross-Channel Forum" meeting which took place on 20 March 2013 in Caen, thirty or so French and British local authorities signed a declaration of intent in which they undertook to work together to protect the Channel and its population against the risk of marine pollution;

Download the declaration and the list of signatories

This joint declaration is expected to be developed through awareness-raising activities, exchange of experience and lobbying at national, European and international levels. To this end, discussions were initiated between French local authorities which signed up to the Declaration on an individual basis while British local authorities were represented by the “Local Government Association Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues”.

Despite the continual improvement of maritime safety in the Channel, the risk of maritime accidents remains high and represents a major challenge to both sides of the Channel. Preparing for any such eventuality is essential.