The Calypso half-day seminar and the 3rd Calypso General meeting were held on Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th May 2012 in Malta. The sessions held on Monday took place at the Excelsior hotel in Valletta, and the sessions held on Tuesday took place at the University Gozo Campus in Xewkija, Gozo. Representatives from all the 8 partners of the CALYPSO consortium participated in these meetings together with representatives of important stakeholders outside of the project consortium.
The meeting started with a half-day seminar titled "Adopting new technologies for the control of the trans-boundary maritime space - A challenge for the shelf area of the Maltese Islands and Southern Sicily". This seminar was open to non-partners and representatives of national stake-holders from Malta and Italy. Prof. Aldo Drago gave a brief overview about the Calypso project and the importance of using new technologies to combat maritime disasters such as oil spills.
Various aspects of the HR radar monitoring system were discussed during project meetings between partners and stakeholders as well as at the seminar that took place on 28th May in Malta. The seminar addressed to public the importance of having a monitoring system for the benefit of the both islands, Malta and Sicily. Presentations of the key speakers from Malta, Italy and Cyprus covered various aspects of oil spills monitoring, environmental and civil protection in case of emergency at sea and well resulting cooperation with other countries and projects.
Programme officer for the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre, Gabino Gonzalez referred to the 193 oil fields currently in production in the Mediterranean. He also explained why operational forecast models are important for a quick response to oil spills. Pierre Marie Poulain from OGS, Giuseppe Ciraolo and Fulvio Capodici from UNIPA spoke of modern maritime monitoring means such as drifters, floats, gliders, and remote-sensing observations. Andria Karaolia, Oceanography Centre, University of Cyprus, introduced MEDESS4MS project to the public and described an oil spill prediction system for Mediterranean decision support. She also spoke of several types of oil spill models such as MOTHY, MEDSLIK and POSEIDON and the area of their application. Captain Paolo Cafaro from Guardia Costiera and Captain Marvin Mangion from Armed Forces of Malta described search and rescue procedures at sea.
All these aspects, highlighted during the seminar, delivered to the public a very important message: operational forecast and oil spills models are crucial for planning an efficient response to maritime emergencies, however, these models need to be supplied by high-quality real-time data from observations, and that is why CALYPSO is a step towards improving safety at sea and coastal areas.
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