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
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.
This poster presents the results of an analysis of various aspects of incident information for tanker spills seven tonnes and over within the past ten years (2005-2014).
Visualising spill risk: Understanding and assessing regions of heightened vulnerability associated with increased seaborne transport of oil (2015)
Understanding and assessing the risk posed by oil spills is an essential starting point in oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response. However, it is a complex process and displaying results of a risk analysis can be particularly challenging.
(Overheads only) Introduction to ITOPF; The Arctic and Northern routes;
Operational challenges and response options; Preparedness and capabilities;
This paper uses information from ITOPF attended incidents to look at trends in conducting post-spill studies, and offer a number of possible reasons for these trends; including a general heightened awareness of environmental issues leading to a shift in attitudes and expectations as well as legislative changes. The paper will also look at the implications of these trends for those involved with such studies and re-examine the ideal drivers for scientifically robust post-spill studies.
The ultimate aim of any oil recovery operation at sea is to collect as much floating oil as is reasonably and economically possible. However, a review of past spills shows that rarely is more than 10% of spilled oil recovered from the sea surface. Although many methods of mechanical containment and recovery exist, each has its own limitations which affect the overall success of a recovery operation.