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Accidental marine pollution in belgium: the emergence of response strategies
Jacques, T.G.; Delbeke, F. (2008). Accidental marine pollution in belgium: the emergence of response strategies, in: Davidson, W.F. et al. (Ed.) Oil spill response: a global perspective. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series: C. Environmental Security, : pp. 271-287. dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8565-9_34
In: Davidson, W.F. et al. (Ed.) (2008). Oil spill response: a global perspective. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series: C. Environmental Security. Springer Netherlands: [s.l.]. ISBN 978-1-4020-8563-5. XIX, 365 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/978-1-4020-8565-9, more
In: NATO Science for Peace and Security Series: C. Environmental Security. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 1874-6519, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    marine pollution; oil spill response; policy

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Abstract
    Belgium is a small country bordering the southern North Sea near one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. Marine management in general and government involvement in environmental emergencies at sea in particular have evolved tremendously over the past 25 years. Changes were at first stimulated by the difficulties and often confusion encountered in dealing with shipping accidents, such as the loss of the Mont-Louis in 1984 and the tragedy of the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987. From a defensive and rather passive attitude in the 1980s, government services moved through a decade of building up awareness to a more alert and co-operative level of preparedness. Government scientists having an interest in marine management were very influential during this transition, which lead to a comprehensive packet of legislation. Since the turn of the millennium, the Administration's attitude has become overtly offensive, supported by European law which lays a strict liability on the polluter. An elementary Coast Guard structure has been established, equipment has been purchased, and operational plans have been adopted. How these measures will succeed in mitigating the impact of marine pollution remains to be demonstrated.

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