Share:EMSA CleanSeaNet 10 years

This week European Maritime Safety Agency, EMSA celebrates the 10-year anniversary of CleanSeaNet, the satellite based Oil Spill Monitoring and Vessel Detection service in Europe.
Over the past decade, almost 25,000 satellite images have been delivered by the CSN service, providing coverage of 4,300 million km2 of sea surface. The number of possible spills detected in European waters has dropped by half during this period, from an average of 11 possible spills per km2 monitored in 2007 to 5 possible spills per km2 monitored in 2017. (CSN 10 Anniversary publication)

CleanSeaNet, (CSN) is an integrated multi-user service that is coordinated by EMSA from its headquarters in in Lisboa and is based on information from Synthetic Aperture Radar,(SAR) images. SAR has proven to be an efficient tool to assist users in detecting potential oil slicks and locate polluters. It is a cost effective way of monitoring covering large areas and the unique thing about SAR is that it can be used independent of daylight and cloud cover.

The development of satellite SAR based monitoring started in Norway already in 1995 in close cooperation with key end users, starting with the Pollution Control Authority in Norway as the first user.  During the initial years of the service operations, it became clear that satellite images could cover the EEZ of more than one country, combined with the fact that oil slicks do not respect borders, so sharing of information and costs seemed to be the best way forward. A multi-user model, developed through various national and ESA development programs represented the baseline for the establishment of the CSN service and a KSAT led consortium was awarded the first contract with partners Telespazio (now e-Geos) and EDISOFT. 

With CSN, EMSA has provided excellent support to the national coast guards, operational centres and aerial surveillance patrols. They have pushed for faster and better services and has strengthened the capacity of the European environmental monitoring and protection.

We congratulate EMSA with the 10 years of detecting maritime pollution in Europe!  

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