According to this article, the director of the Seychellois Division of Risk and Disaster Management (DRDM) Paul Labaleine defined the two-day table-top exercise organised by the CRIMARIO project to test the country’s response capabilities to oil spill pollution as “the most intense ever undertaken”. He remarked that apart from the exercise, the event also consisted of a training component involving various stakeholders.
The exercise was carried out in joint collaboration with the various local agencies involved in maritime security (Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA), Seychelles Coastguard, Seychelles Ports Authority, Seychelles Police) with the aim of better preparing them in case Seychelles experienced an accidental (or fraudolent) oil spill. The responses of the various agencies involved were coordinated with DRDM being the key player.
Explaining why the EU is paying particular attention to the region in terms of security and safety, Olivier Bézier, CRIMARIO component manager, said the Indian Ocean is one critical maritime route with an intense traffic of oil and manufactured goods and guaranteeing its security remains of the utmost importance for the EU. As Seychelles is particularly vulnerable to the threat of maritime crimes (hydrocarbon pollution, piracy at sea, illegal fishing, etc…), international assistance is needed, as well as the involvement of regional coastal states and international partners and this crisis management exercise.