28 June 2004: Baltic Sea oil spill watch "Operation Flying Mermaid" a success

Sloppy captains sailing the Baltic Sea better watch out for this!
Sloppy captains sailing the Baltic Sea better watch out for this!

28 June 2004

The aviation clubs of Helsinki-Malmi Airport have for over a year been actively participating in the Baltic Sea protection programme of WWF Finland, "Operation Mermaid", by volunteer surveillance flights. The airborne surveillance is called "Operation Flying Mermaid".

The numerous small aircraft of the aviation clubs of Helsinki-Malmi Airport increase by many times the visual surveillance capabilities of the Frontier Guard. When every small aircraft flying along the coast of the Gulf of Finland may be watching out for unlawful spills from ships, the fear of getting caught is strongly increased.

"Operation Flying Mermaid" is made possible by the favorable location of Helsinki-Malmi Airport. The aviation clubs' cross-country flights towards Turku and Kotka, with the other endpoint on the coast of Helsinki, make possible a comprehensive surveillance along the whole length of the Gulf of Finland.

The deterrent created by the volunteer surveillance flights is doing its share of an excellent job for the protection of the Baltic Sea. In 2003, the number of observed oil spills from ships was the lowest ever recorded, only about half the number of the previous year.

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