It is a great pleasure for me to introduce this Special Issue of SULA of the Dutch Seabird Group. This issue reflects the proceedings of the workshop ’Oil Pollution, Beached Bird Surveys and Policy: towards a more effective approach to an old problem’. The Workshop was an initiative of the Dutch Seabird Group and organized by this group and my Ministry. As we all know, the prevention of marine pollution by oil and other harmful substances is extremely complex and requires the continuing and close cooperation of many organizations as well as dedicated individuals and a high level of exchange of information between all involved. Therefore I whole heartedly supported the Workshop. It provided very useful information and has stimulated mutual understanding and co-operation between policy, research institutes and volunteer organizations at an international level.