The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard


  • 19.11.14

    Minister for the North Sea Bart Tommelein and the governor of West-Flanders province had a meeting on November 17th. Goal was to balance policy and operational guidelines as much as possible. Because of the involvement of all coast guard partners, the coast guard secretary was also present. Main topics were Blue Growth and energy with the future creation of an energy-atoll, but also the protection of cultural heritage under water, the coast guard centre, watersports at sea, and the simplification of the procedures with regard to maritime legislation.

  • 13.11.14
    VHF Sectors - Sector Division

    An update of the brochure VHF Channels - Sector Division is available (4.0) with the following adaptations: the border at Oostdyckbank has been relocated, there is an extra anchorage area and a number of buoys have been amended in function of the separation sea shipping - pleasure craft.

    You can download the brochure here or on

  • 05.11.14

    Recently a basking shark was spotted off the Belgian Coast in the North Sea. This is rare, since there have only been five such sightings in the Belgian waters over the last few years. Although its length can reach up to eight metres, there is no need to fear this type of shark, because it feeds solely on plankton.

    Which sharks are to be found in the North Sea? There are three sorts : Dogfish, Cat Shark and Smooth Hound. They are not often spotted along the Belgian coast, they are more frequently found along the English and Scottish coasts. So if you are afraid of sharks, there is nothing to fear on the Belgian coast.

  • 10.10.14

    The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) presents two scientific awards for 2014:

    The VLIZ Thesis Awards for Marine Sciences 2014. There are two prizes, each amounting to 500 EUR. Subscription before 30 November 2014.

    The Annual VLIZ North Sea Award 2014 to encourage innovative marine research, wether fundamental or applied. The prize amounts to 1000 EUR and is indivisible. Candidates are requested to submit their candidature before 30 November 2014.

    More information on


  • 08.10.14
    Plenary meeting NACGF

    From September 29th to October 1st, the Coast Guard Secretary and a representant of the ministry of Defence participated to the 'plenary meeting' of the North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum (NACGF) in Halifax, Canada. The focus this year was on innovative technologies in the marine and maritime world. Also on the agenda: a visit to the Marine Center of Expertise (MEC) - Canada Border Services Agency', a training and information-exchange facility.

    Earlier this year, in April, the 'expert meeting' already took place. The NACGF counts seven working groups regarding fishery, drug traficking, Search and Rescue (SAR), environmental response, etc. Delegates of both regional and federal coast guard partners participate in these working groups. In the fall usually follows a 'plenary meeting' of the heads of delagations of all participating countries. 

    The NACGF is a non-binding, voluntary forum between 20 member-states, founded in 2007. Its main purpose is to promote and facilitate cooperation and to exchange information on best practices and experiences. The Coast Guard secretariat is the national point of contact for the NACGF.

  • 22.09.14

    Friday September 16th the Coast Guard consultation body assembled for the third time this year under the chairmanship of the governor of West-Flanders. Future actions with regard to the implementation of the Marine Spatial Plan were discussed. Marine Spatial Planning is intended to result in a better planning of the use and the space within Belgian marine areas and should offer more legal security to the sea user (for a leaflet, click here).
    Further on the agenda: the exercises to be held by several coast guard partners at sea in the near future and the measures to be taken for the salvage of the Baltic Ace wreck. The Baltic Ace was a car carrier which sunk after colliding with a container carrier in December 2012. Various working groups, such as windmill parks at sea and a general emergency and intervention plan for the North Sea, reported on the progress made.


  • 22.09.14
    Rescue exercise 9 sep 2014

    Tuesday 9 September 2014, the governor of West-Flanders organized an exercice to test the procedure for saving drowning persons along the Belgian coast. The communication and participation between the different coast guard and other partners on land, at sea and in the air was tested.

  • 05.09.14

    The 40 Squadron was kept busy during the summer holidays. They carried out 34 rescue operations in July and August. The Sea King has been used since 1976 in the Belgian army. Now there are four such helicopters still operational, which will in time be replaced by the NH90 NFH (marineversion).

    More information on (article in Dutch) or (article in French)

  • 04.09.14
    Shipping inspector

    Our coast guard partner FPS (Federal Public Service) Mobility and Transport is recruiting shipping inspectors. Applications should be received by September 15th 2014.
    More information on

  • 02.09.14

    No, in Belgium this is forbidden by law. Moreover, it is a really bad idea according to research carried out by ILVO, the Institute for Agriculture and Fishery Research. This research shows that eating 'wild' mussels can cause stomach - and bowel infections since they contain a high amount of microbes that can make you ill. Mussels picked off the beach or quay walls also contain more chemical substances than those you buy in the supermarket.

    More information (in Dutch):