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Spill Notification Point
Department of Fisheries & Marine Research (DFMR)
Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment
101 Vithleem Street
PO Box 28548
Tel: +357 2 2807 868/807 or +357 2 2807 878 or +357 9 43 51 71 (mobile)
Fax: +357 2 277 59 55
Competent National Authority
Details as above.
A National Contingency Plan (NCP) was developed for the country in 1983. It was redrafted and a new contingency plan was approved by the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development & the Environment in March 2019.
The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (DFMR) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for oil spill control and response at the national level and for setting up Emergency Response Centres (ERCs). They are also responsible for maintening and implementing the national contingency plan. Upon notification of an incident, an ERC would be established to coordinate the spill response. For major incidents requiring a national response or for those occasions which require the activation of sub-regional contingency arrangements, the ERC would be established at the Fisheries Department Headquarters, Nicosia. The Director of the Fisheries Department would act as the National On-Scene Coordinator (NOSC). They have overall responsibility for the operations and are supported by a command team consisting of officers of the Fisheries Department and any other individuals requested by the NOSC.
For minor incidents within the capability of local resources, the ERC would be established at one of the Fisheries Department four district offices (Agia Napa, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos). A response would be mounted under the supervision of an OSC, usually the head of one of those district fisheries offices. NOSC would monitor and provide assistance if requested and the situation would be regularly evaluated by the Executive Team.
Operational teams, under the supervision of the OSC, may then be dispatched to respond at sea, undertake shoreline clean-up and the disposal of any recovered oil or oily waste. They are in turn backed-up by a ‘Support Team’ who are responsible for the logistics, such as arranging transport for any recovered material. Under the terms of the NCP, the NOSC can requisition the assistance of other government departments, non-governmental organisations or industry should the need arise.
Small spills occurring in one of the oil handling facilities would be combated with locally available resources under the surveillance of the Fisheries Department.
Any response would first aim to control the source of pollution and contain and recover any floating oil. The application of dispersants approved for use by EU countries, particularly France, or the UK is permitted at water depths of over 30 metres and outside the boundaries of any of the marine national parks or protected areas identified in the NCP. Authorisation for application must first be obtained from the Director of DFMR. Oily waste would be disposed of by incineration or recycled at a local refinery.
The Fisheries Department possesses a significant stockpile of containment and recovery equipment including vessels, skimmers, boom and a vessel dispersant spraying capability. In addition, the Royal Air Force Base at Akotiri maintains a stock of boom, dispersant, skimmers and sorbent.
Surveillance of any spilled oil may be carried out by the air force and marine police via fixed wing aircraft, helicopters or boats. An aerial spraying capability using crop spraying aircraft is also available from the Department of Agriculture.
Cyprus Oil Refinery, BP and the cement factories all maintain stocks of boom, dispersant, skimmers and sorbent to varying degrees. A number of private contractors offer spill response equipment including dispersant spraying vessels.
Previous Spill Experience
Several minor spills have occurred with an appropriate clean-up.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances
The Department of Fisheries & Marine Research is the competent authority for dealing with marine pollution involving HNS. Cyprus’s capability for responding to HNS spills is very limited and mainly relies on the same resources as for oil pollution response. It currently does not cover response to HNS spills in its NCP and has not been involved in any marine incidents with HNS. (Information from EMSA, 2008)
Prevention & Safety
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Barcelona Convention (with states bordering the Mediterranean).
- A trilateral agreement and subregional contingency plan with Egypt & Israel.
For further information see REMPEC (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea) Country Profile (http://www.rempec.org/country.asp?cid=5&openNum=1&IDS=2_1&daNme=General Information)
Date of issue: May 2023
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