The coast guard keeps an eye on the sea

Coast guard


  • 02.02.17

    January 22nd 2017 a very rare marine mammal, a dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) was spotted near Ostend.

    That Sunday, during a trip at sea in the Belgian part of the North Sea for observing marine mammals and seabirds, about 90 porpoises (Belgium's most common cetacean), were observed. One animal raised some doubt as to whether belonging to the same species. After the trip, the photos were thoroughly examined by Belgian and foreign specialists.

    Conclusion: it is not a porpoise, but a dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima). The dwarf sperm whale can attain a length of 2.7 m (larger than a harbour porpoise which is usually 1.8 m). It is rare for the dwarf sperm whale to be seen in Europe. The January 22 observation was the first in Belgian waters. 

    More information on the website of our coast guard partner Operational Directorate (OD) Natural Environment/Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM):

  • 25.01.17

    December 19th 2016, the company Nemos introduced a request for an environmental permit for the construction and exploitation of a temporary research structure for wave energy conversion. The temporary research structure will be placed at a distance of about 500 meters north of the eastern harbour wall in Ostend. 

    The public consultation for this permit is now open until February 23rd 2017. All information about how to consult the file and/or how to file a remark or objection can be found on the website of our coast guard partner Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM): 

  • 16.01.17

    Looking for the latest information on activities at sea or just curious? 

    Check the new website of our coast guard partner the scientific service Management Unit of the Mathematical Models of the North Sea:

    On this website you will find a state of affairs and all official documents regarding offshore wind farms and you will learn everything about the aerial surveillance at sea. You can also find information about other human activities at sea: sand extraction, aquaculture, dumping of dredged material and the Framework directives Water and Marine Strategy.

  • 06.01.17

    Yesterday, January 5th, Rebo NV and Siemens Wind Power signed a concession agreement for one year for the use of the Rebo terminal at the port of Ostend for turbine pre-assembly for Rentel, the fifth Belgian offshore windfarm. At the Rebo terminal the different elements of the turbines will be assembled. Then they are to be loaded on an installation vessel and installed on monopile foundations in the sea. 

    The supply and pre-assembly of the 42 turbines will start early this year and take about one year. The Rentel offshore wind power plant is located some 40 kilometers off the Belgian North Sea Coast and will be able to provide clean power for approximately 300,000 households in Belgium. 

  • 22.12.16

  • 07.12.16

    Five new shipwrecks were given the official status of cultural heritage on November 4th 2016. That makes a total of eight officially recognised shipwrecks in the North Sea. According to the Belgian law with relation to shipwrecks, all findings are to be reported to the governor of West-Flanders province in his role as 'receiver'. A research follows to determine if the finding can be designated cultural heritage or not. Recognised shipwrecks are preserved in situ (they remain in the site where they were found) and their location is marked on nautical charts.

    Special protective measures apply. Activities that could damage the wreck are prohibited (anchoring, dredging,...). You are allowed to dive in that spot, but you are required to inform the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) (see Notices to Mariners - BAZ nr 1) and to notify the Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport at least 4 hours beforehand. This can be done by means of an electronic form on their website.

  • 09.11.16
    Research vessel Belgica®Federal Science Policy Office

    On the 28th of October 2016, the Ministerial Council agreed to replace the research vessel RV Belgica, after a proposal by Secretary of State for Science Policy Elke Sleurs and Secretary of State for the North Sea Philippe De Backer.

    The RV Belgica plays a substantial role in the Belgian marine scientific research. It was built in 1984 and has reached its maximum lifetime. That is why a structural solution for the replacement of the ship is of vital importance.

    Our coast guard partner Federal Science Policy Office is the owner of the ship and puts it at the disposal of Belgian scientists wishing to carry out marine scientific research. Our coast guard partner the Belgian navy provides the crew, operational support and a berthing quay in the home port of Zeebrugge.

    Good news for both these coast guard partners! -

  • 04.11.16

    Such questions can best be answered by our coast guard partner Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport.
    General phone number FPS Mobility and Transport: +32 (0)2 277 31 11 or mail to 

    Sea Fishery
    Front office Sea Fishery
    Natiënkaai 5
    8400 Ostend

    +32 (0)59/56 14 85
    Open from Monday to Friday 9am -12am

    Pleasure craft: certificates such as immatriculation,...

    Front office pleasure craft Oostende Front office pleassure craft Gent Front office pleasure craft Brussel

    Natiënkaai 5
    8400 Oostende

    Port Arthurlaan 12
    9000 Gent

    Vooruitgangstraat 56
    1210 Brussel
    Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays Open on Tuesdays and Fridays
    9am -11.45am

    9am -11.45am

    9am -11.45am

    Attention: the front office pleasure craft in Antwerpen is closed permanently!

    Merchant shipping: STCW, seaman's book,...

    Front Office Vessel management Antwerpen
    Posthoflei 5
    2600 Antwerpen

    +32 (0)3 286 68 90

    Open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9am-11.45am

  • 27.10.16
    Harbour porpoise stranded on the beach®OD Natural Environment

    In 2015 52 harbour porpoises and 45 seals stranded on the beach. The scientist of our coast guard partner Operational Directorate (OD) Natural Environment have put the information on stranded cetaceans in Belgium in a brochure. In 2015, relatively few strandings of harbour porpoises were reported. Sea Life Blankenberge took care of 19 seals and 26 dead or dying seals have been reported. 

  • 24.10.16
    Salvage Flinterstar®afdeling Scheepvaartbegeleiding

    Last month the salvage of the Flinterstar wreckage, the cargo vessel that sunk in 2015 after a collision with the gas-carrier Al-oraiq, was completed. Now the whole seabed has also been completely cleared. Some debris still remained, but has now been removed. This means that from October 13th, the working area around the Flinterstar, where large vessels, fishing vessels and pleasure craft were prohibited to enter, has now been released. This area is accessible again and vessels do no longer have to make a detour.