Joan Collins HEADS of the emergency services in the Balearics, La Coruña, Sicily, and Crete met yesterday in Palma as part of the European Sosmer project for marine emergencies. The aim of the meeting was to formulate a plan of joint action in case of another incident where contaminant material is spilt into the sea. This information was released by the head of the Balearic Government's emergency coordination service, Santiago Sainz de los Terreros, who said that the Director General will organise an international conference for marine emergencies in Palma in June. The main initiative within the Sosmer project will be developed in the Balearics, who applied for their inclusion in this project because marine emergencies are, at the moment, “the hobby horse” of the Director General, according to Sainz de los Terreros. In this respect, he said that the Balearic Plan for Contamination in Marine Waters is almost finalised. This will be presented in this meeting and it is awaiting for final responsibilities to be defined and legal questions to be answered by the central Government before it can be approved. Sainz de los Terreros remarked that marine emergencies are complex to coordinate and require a lot of resources, at times international, and concern many regions when there is an incident. According to him, there is a specific plan at national level from which possible action can be derived, but it leaves a lot of things to be decided because these types of accident only affect those autonomous regions which have a coastline. In this regard the Sosmer project, which is coordinated by the University Institute of Maritime Studies in La Coruña, is very important for determining protocols for action. The aim of these protocols is to have “maximum coordination for operatives and resources within the country and the European Union” in case of emergency. Last year a report published by Greenpeace listed marine black spots around Europe and the channel between the Balearics and mainland Spain was one of the potential danger areas. The authorities have given assurances that toxic cargoes are not, however, transported through Balearics waters but, in association with France and Italy a major simulated marine disaster operation was staged off Majorca.