Falkland Islands

Spill Notification Point

Marine Officer
Falkland Islands Fisheries Department

Tel: +500 27260/27266 or +500 21867/52867 (24hr)

Fax: +500 27265

Competent National Authority

As for spill notification point.

Response Arrangements

The Falkland Islands Fisheries Department is the lead agency charged with managing the marine environment and responding to marine oil spills within the 12 nautical mile (nm) territorial limit and 200 nm EEZ.

The National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) has been in force since 2010 and reflects the most likely type of spill that is expected - namely minor spills within the harbours. Oil spill response equipment stored at FIPASS (Falkland Interim Port and Storage System) corresponds to the risk.

The Marine Officer is Incident Commander in the event of a spill. Offshore exploration companies are required to submit contingency plans to the Falkland Islands Government for approval and these plans are required to be compatible with the NOSCP. The Marine Officer acts as the authority for the approval of the use of dispersants offshore. Close cooperation exists between offshore operators and the Falkland Islands Government and both would use the services of Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) together with the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency Counter Pollution and Response branch.

The current NOSCP is due to be reviewed to include increasing activity offshore beyond what has already taken place.

Spills within the military port of East Cove would be responded to in the same manner as those occurring on Ministry of Defence (MoD) bases in the UK. Members of the military garrison based on the islands may be employed to help in any shoreline clean-up that was required.

Marine and scientific expertise can be supplied by the Fisheries Department and Falklands Conservation can provide environmental advice in the event of a spill. Additional advice can be provided by the Falkland Islands Government Environmental Planning Department.

Response Policy

Under the NOSCP the primary method of combating offshore marine oil pollution will involve the application of dispersants, provided that the types of oil spilled are amenable to spraying and environmental conditions are suitable.

In nearshore environments and on the shoreline, defensive booming may be the prime method of response but is reliant on suitable weather conditions. The lack of available labour on the islands and difficult access to much of the coastline remains a problem.

Disposal options for recovered oil and oily waste are limited. Any oil or oily waste recovered at present would have to be temporarily stored and burnt by incinerator or transported elsewhere. 


Government & Private

The Falkland Islands Government maintains booms and oil recovery equipment for use at small to medium spills (Tier 1 & 2) from MGO to IFO/ HGO. The MoD and Stanley Services Ltd., a local bunker company, also possess limited specialised equipment to deal with a marine oil spill. The MoD reviews its capability on a regular basis and maintains an adequate stockpile. Under the exploration licensing conditions, the oil industry is obliged to provide equipment and contingency plans to mount an effective response to oil spilled from their facilities.

The government has well established contacts with the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency Counter Pollution and Response branch and with OSRL in the UK, both of whom would provide advice regarding the clean-up.

Aerial surveillance of a spill would be possible via the Falkland Islands Air Service which operates a specific aircraft for fisheries surveillance work. UK armed forces garrisoned on the islands and a local air charter company may also provide aircraft for this purpose. Any ship-borne surveillance or monitoring of fish stocks could be carried by the Fisheries Department.

Previous Spill Experience

Over the last ten years there have been several minor operational spills of Marine Gas Oil.  However the largest of these amounts to only about 100 litres.  There have been no major spills recorded in the islands in the last 20 years.


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force 

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • The Falkland Islands is not a party to any regional or bilateral agreements. However, due to the Islands status as a dependent territory of the UK, experts or equipment from this country may be made available to aid in the clean-up.

Date of issue: November 2012

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