Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Prevention of oil disasters rehearsed next week

​HELCOM’s international response exercise ‘Balex Delta’ will be held on 10-12 June in Latvian territorial waters. Ten oil response vessels from eight Baltic Sea coastal countries and institutions will participate in the operation, allowing to test Baltic coordination and cooperation in a highly operational level, as well as improve skills on joint prevention of major damage from oil spills in the sea as well as on the shore.Balex Delta 2012. Photo: SYKE / Kati Tahvonen.Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden will contribute to the annual exercise along with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) representing European Union. The general aim of the exercise is to test the alarm procedure, as well as the response capability and capacity of the HELCOM Contracting Parties, consisting of all the nine coastal Baltic States and the EU. The exercise scenario states that the collision between tanker and fishing boat has occurred in the Baltic Sea, northwards Ventspils port. Due to this accident about 10,000 tons of oil have spilt in the sea causing an environmental disaster. The scenario also states that ships won’t be able to collect all oil and some of it will wash ashore, thus participants of the exercise will be forced to test the oil spill readiness along the coastline, including saving the birds. Exercise ‘Balex Delta’ is organized by the Ministry of Environment of Latvia in cooperation with HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission) and the Latvian Naval Force Flotilla. More than 30 observers from several international organizations are also expected to participate. On Thursday 12 June, the general public can observe the traditional rowing competition of the HELCOM fleet, and in the afternoon the ships have open doors for public. Note for mass media representativesOn June 11 the Media Day of the exercise ‘Balex Delta’ will be held in Ventspils. For further information, please contact the Media Relations Section of the Ministry of Defence at:  * * * The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * * For further information, please contact:Laura MazmacaState Environmental Service of Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional DevelopmentRiga, LatviaTel: +371 67408166E-mail: laura.mazmaca(at) Hermanni Backer Professional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Maritime Spatial Planning HELCOM Tel:  +358 46 8509199 Skype: helcom02 E-mail: hermanni.backer(at) Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

HELCOM’s international response exercise ‘Balex Delta’ will be held on 10-12 June in Latvian territorial waters.