On the 25th of April, 2007 the European Parliament agreed the modification of the directive 2002/59/EC which establish that Member States should draw up measures to give refuge to ships in distress in their ports or in any other sheltered areas in order to limit the consequences of accidents at sea. The directive indicate that Member States should compile previous information about possible sheltered areas on the coast. The previous information should include a description of the physical, environmental and social characteristics of the places and the means and facilities available to assist the ships that had an accident or those which are fighting against the consequences of a polluting spillage.
We understand that the Directive of the European Union about Refuge Ports opens a new controversy in the context of maritime security, 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, The solution of the problem, the informatic program PRISMA announced by the Ministry of Public Works in Spain in Febraury 2011, will be well received by the population as representing a protocol in emergency situations. But this program does not take into account the specific regional demands.