Documents & Guides
Explore a variety of topics about marine spills, response and compensation matters in the pages below.
Each topic and area of interest provides access to more detailed documentation that is freely downloadable.
This includes our 18 Technical Information Papers which are fully illustrated with photos and diagrams and are available in several languages.
What legal arrangements and sources of compensation are available for a spill from a ship?
What planning and waste management systems need to be put in place to reduce the volume of oily waste for treatment or disposal?
How does oil impact seabirds, plankton, sea mammals and the shoreline?
What are the specific chemical response strategies for responding to a Hazardous and Noxious Substance spill, and what are the potential effects on human and marine life?
What information is needed for an effective oil spill contingency plan? How can aerial observation and protective strategies assist with response operations?
Which industries might suffer temporary economic losses and loss of market confidence?
What happens to oil in the marine environment over time when spilled at sea? How do different factors such as volume and physical and chemical properties affect the fate of oil spills?
What techniques are available for cleaning up oil at sea and on the shoreline?
Explore the Resources
This paper introduces the types of environmental damage claims typically presented following a substantial oil spill in China, and the basis for these damage claims. By discussing how these claims were quantified and eventually settled, this paper aims to illustrate how environmental damage has been interpreted in China, and how the concept has evolved over the years. This paper highlights a number of recent changes in legislation which can be expected to lead future discussion on environmental damage compensation into uncharted waters.
Droning on: A review of UAV use in recent spills attended by ITOPF and considerations for the future (2018)
This paper discusses the considerations for the use of UAVs at future oil spill incidents, based on its experience with other parties who have used the technology on site over a three year period, November 2014 to November 2017.
Over the last fifty years, increased global awareness of environmental issues has led to growing recognition of environmental stewardship as an essential component of economic development.
Based on ITOPF’s extensive experience providing advice on pollution mitigation and environmental risks posed by wrecks, this paper examines recent issues in the treatment of
wrecks. The authors highlight some key concerns regarding the equitable treatment of wrecks and argue that a more rigorous, technically-based decision making process be adopted and
promoted to ensure clarity and consistency for all parties.
The International law regarding ship-source pollution liability and compensation: Evolution and current challenges (2017)
This paper looks at the history and evolution of the international law regarding
ship-source pollution liability and compensation, established and strengthened over the last
50 years into what is today considered as a comprehensive and uniform regime. The
principles that underpin this regime are the result of compromises between States and industry, lessons learned from past incidents and have been adhered to by the vast majority of
countries in the world, denoting the success of the regime.
From the Torrey Canyon to today: A 50 year retrospective of recovery from the oil spill and interaction with climate-driven fluctuations on Cornish rocky shores (2017)
This paper highlights lessons learnt from observations stretching back 60 years, both before and after the Torrey Canyon spill, for rocky shore monitoring, especially the need for broad-scale and long-term monitoring to separate out local impacts (such as oil spills) from global climate-driven change.
In this paper we review the use and misuse of SCAT in several recent smallscale incidents and discuss the implications for the wider implementation of SCAT moving forward.
Response actions and mitigation measures, undertaken at the time of a spill specifically to protect seafood resources can ultimately influence the duration, magnitude and extent of impacts. This paper reviews small-scale cases in which ITOPF has been involved from around the world where fisheries or mariculture were an important concern and where measures were implemented specifically to mitigate damage.
Using case studies of oil spills ITOPF has attended in Asia, Europe and South America, this paper will discuss these key considerations in turn, and describe, through the case studies, how they were resolved or addressed. This paper will also summarise the findings to provide general guidance for responding to oil spills where tidal agriculture is an important industry.
ITOPF's shipowners and their P&I insurers have established the annual 'ITOPF R&D Award' to encourage organisations worldwide to inspire innovative thinking and to present ideas that could provide solutions to some of the challenges faced in spill response and environmental monitoring.