During the past 25 years huge investments have enabled the development of a very busy offshore industry in the North Sea area. International environmental policy regulations for this type of activity are given by the Paris Commission and by International Conferences on the Protection of the North Sea.

The North Sea Directorate of Rijkswaterstaat in the Netherlands is responsible for the management of the Dutch sector of the North Sea, i.e. responsible for the quality of the watersystem and the management of several human activities which have an impact on the sea.

The activities which result directly from this are:

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    detection and removal of oil spills and other marine pollutants;

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    contingency planning;

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    issuing of dumping and discharging licenses;

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    coordination of research, and development of policy;

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    sounding and dredging of water routes;

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    international consultation related with these activities.

This paper starts with a short overview of North Sea use, North Sea policy and development of airborne surveillance.

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