Dear Member of ISCO,
It's nearly four months since I last wrote to you and much has happened in the interim.
The AGM took place as planned on 7th May at the International Oil Spill Conference in Savannah, USA. In case you haven't already read the minutes, you can find them at http://www.spillcontrol.org and, after signing in, click on "ISCO", then "meetings".
ISCO President, David Usher, represented ISCO at the IMO Council meeting in London over 16-20 June. He was able to renew contacts with members of other international delegations and update them on new developments. David also represented ISCO and presented a paper on Submerged Oil Recovery at a recent Underwater Environment Conference in Sweden.
Since I last wrote, the following have been welcomed as new members of ISCO - The Sea Alarm Foundation (Associate Member); John Wardrop (Australia); Slickbar Indonesia; Jean Claude Sainlos, Sampling Planejamento (Brazil) and Ro-Clean Desmi.
International representation on the ISCO Executive Committee has been significantly improved with the election of Jean Claude Sainlos (France) at the AGM and the co-option of Paul Pisani (Malta) and Kerem Kemerli (Turkey) following on nomination proposals received from members. Looking forwards, it is hoped to increase international representation on the Committee with elected representatives from other regions such as Australia, Far East, Africa, South America, Middle East and Scandinavia/Northern Europe.
A Sub-Committee has been formed to revise and update the ISCO Constitution. The revised constitution will be circulated to members for approval at least one month before the next AGM which will be held at Interspill (Marseille, France) in May, 2009.
A small Sub-Committee has also been formed to manage ISCO's relationship with IMO. The members are Jean-Claude Sainlos, John Noble (Individual member of ISCO and advisor to the International Salvage Union (ISU) and ISCO Secretary, John McMurtrie. As the former head of IMO's Marine Environment Division, Jean-Claude has first hand knowledge of IMO's modus operandi. John Noble, as the former CEO of the Salvage Association, has a sound understanding of marine pollution issues. He will be in London regularly and will be well placed to maintain a dialogue with ISCO's contacts in IMO.
Looking forwards, ISCO will be providing official observers at the full-scale international response exercise between Canada and the USA in September, 2008 and an ISCO delegation will be participating in the IMO MEPC OPRC-HNS Technical Group Meetings in London from September 29 - October 3.
Our sister organization, the International Spill Accreditation Association is continuing to develop the All-Ireland Spill Response Organization Accreditation Scheme and your Secretary has attended further meetings of the Steering Group in Dublin and Belfast. The situation is encouraging with a number of new applications received from contractors wishing to gain accreditation. The current priority is the planning of a seminar and training event to take place in late September.
Most recently, a meeting was held last week with members of the UK Spill board to discuss co-operation over the setting up of an international correspondence group to develop accreditation criteria for spill response organizations (OSROs) involved in chemical and HNS response - more news on this later.
In response to requests from response contractors in the Mediterranean area wishing to gain ISAA International Accredited Status, discussions are ongoing with a view to setting up a Mediterranean Region Accreditation Scheme. ISAA is pleased to advise that Darko Domovic, the former Head of Operations at REMPEC (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Centre for the Mediterranean) will have a key role in this new development.
Finally, a few reminders and announcements -
* Patricia Charlebois of IMO writes "I strongly encourage delegations who have been involved in oil and/or HNS pollution incidents to submit any information on these, as these are valuable means of exchanging experiences and lessons learned". ISCO Members who feel they may be able to make a contribution should contact the Secretary as soon as possible.
* Some members have not yet registered on the website. You need to do this in order to access the Members' Area.
* Interspill Conference (Marseille, France, May 2009) has issued a call for papers. Deadline is 15th September. http://www.interspill.com
* Corporate members can place free advertisements in the Supplies & Services Section of the Public Area of the ISCO website. Contact the Secretary for details.
* IMO is looking to ISCO for qualified individuals to support its Technical Co-operation Programme, helping third world countries to implement OPRC and other conventions. Day rate, travel and subsistence costs are payable to selected candidates. For more info, contact ISCO Secretary.
* We would like to include a few words about yourself (or your company if you're a Corporate Member) under your name in the list of ISCO members. This is by way of an introduction to help members to get to know each other. If you wish, you can include your Email and/or other contact details.
* Finally, I'm sorry to have to say that a (thankfully) very small number of members have neglected to keep their subscriptions up-to-date. At the last AGM it was decided that Members who fail to pay their subscriptions will receive a reminder and if outstanding membership dues are not paid within 30 days, membership will be terminated.
That's all for now.