Outer Coastal Waters
Habitat is characterized by wave and weather-exposed islets, water is relatively deep. Species living in outer coastal waters often feed pelagically (in the water column), some species feed on sea floor organisms.
- Pelagic diving sea birds (Breeding season): Breeding colonies of auks are usually located in the outer coastal zone with good access to the open sea. During the breeding season these species will be more frequently seen nearer to the coast.
- Coastal diving species: Present all year in coastal waters, both in breeding season and foraging. Many species winter in the open coastal waters. Cormorants and shags breed and rest on rocks often only a few meters over sea level, black guillemots breed between boulders often close to the sea level, all will be very vulnerable to oiling of these rocks/boulders.
- Pelagic surface feeding sea birds (breeding season) Breeding colonies of gannet, fulmars and kittiwakes are usually located in the outer coastal zone with good access to the open sea, preferring steep cliffs, often high up from sea level. During the breeding season these species will be more frequently seen nearer to the coast.
- Coastal surface feeding birds: Present all year in coastal waters, breeding areas on rocky islets.
Seals: Breeding colonies of seals are usually located in the outer coastal zone, on islets and rocks, usually uninhabited by people.
- Protection priority should be given to MOB areas.
- Upstream combat of threatening slicks is considered the best option, if possible.
- Use of heavy recovery equipment may be possible even close to shore if depth and navigational circumstances allow.
- Use of chemical dispersants should be avoided in areas where the potential for dilution is limited. A rule of thumb of at least 200 m from shore and water depths exceeding 20 m has formerly been applied. Application of chemical dispersants is generally not recommended in areas with rich kelp forests.
- Monitoring the location of sea birds and marine mammals (cetaceans and seals) is important during oil spill combat.
- It is especially important to combat oil threatening islets and areas around “bird cliffs” as well as seal breeding sites (rocky islets).
- Local knowledge should be used to identify details of protected areas.