On the 25th of April, 2007 the European Parliament agreed the modification of the directive 2002/59/EC which establish –among other things- that Member States should draw up measures to give refuge to ships is distress in their ports or in any other sheltered areas in order to limit the consequences of accidents at sea. As far as refuge places are concerned, the modification of the directive indicates that. Member States should compile previous information about possible sheltered areas on the coast so that in case of accidents or incidents at sea, the proper authorities can point out the most appropriate areas to shelter the ships in distress as quickly as possible.
So, the importance of social aspects when it comes to determine the shelter areas or ports of refuge in Spain is nowadays one of the biggest problems to apply this Community Directive. In this context our research group’s experience on collective risk management has developed from the analysis evaluation and suggestion of social criteria which improve the social acceptances of controversial facilities such as the storage of nuclear waste. Our research is also based on the analysis of both, public and media opinion about sea spillage from the oil tank “Prestige” .
Our project has two objectives:
1. To analyse empirically the social image and Spanish public opinion of the areas and ports of refuge following in detail all the arguments, in the media and socially, on the relevant opinions and connotations about this refuge areas on the coast.
2. To supply the necessary knowledge demanded by the European Directive about the social factors which affect the available refuge areas. This is, to define the criteria which contribute to the social acceptance of the ports and areas of refuge in Spain. All of this with the objective that the proper authority has a thorough and contrasting report which permit them to make decisions in matters concerning to them, in accordance with the European Directive.