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Fire/explosion - vessel

Potential biodiversity issues

  • Damage to habitats at and around the location of the fire/explosion as a result of burning or physical dislocation
  • Mortality or injury of species at and around the location as a result of burning or the impacts of vibrations or dispersal of material
  • Release of damaging substances into the environment
    • oil
    • chemicals
    • other hazardous substances or cargo
  • Secondary damage or disturbance to habitats and/or species during operations to extinguish fires or contain/remedy the effects of explosions

Potential mitigation measures

By its nature a fire or explosion on board a vessel will be unpredictable and its immediate direct impacts are unlikely to be capable of mitigation except insofar as efficient remedial action (e.g. to extinguish fires promptly) may limit damage. However, the following considerations may apply after the occurrence of the incident itself:

  • Assess the sensitivity of the location of the incident: is it in or in proximity to a statutorily designated site; is it in or in proximity to an area of particular importance (e.g. one likely to hold high concentrations of bird species). See bird density maps and Oil Spill Response GIS
  • If there is actual or potential release of damaging substances into the environment, make best efforts to take all necessary steps to avoid or minimise discharges and to activate appropriate pollution response procedures (e.g. TOSCA)
  • In liaison with Natural England/Environment Agency and/or other appropriate agencies/operators, seek to minimise further damage or disturbance during remedial actions
  • If mortality or injury of species is likely or confirmed,  make best efforts to inform RSPB and RSPCA.