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
Responding to a spill under COVID-19 conditions brought unparalleled challenges in all aspects of launching an effective spill response. This paper discusses the experiences and issues from a personal perspective and what lessons were learned.
With the eyes of the world on reducing human reliance on fossil fuels, the shipping industry is undergoing the largest fuel revolution since the obsolescence of steam-powered vessels in the 1950s. With more vessels expected to run on alternative fuels, it is a matter of time until an incident involving these emerging fuel types occurs.
This paper provides a global overview of the spatial distribution of accidental marine oil tanker spills of size 7 tonnes and over, based on ITOPF’s spills database, and explores spatio-temporal patterns over 50 years using GIS.
To supply the global demand for plastic, significant quantities of pre-production plastic pellets are transported by sea in containers. Plastic pellets, or nurdles, are lentil-sized (typically < 5mm) pre-production raw materials used to fashion almost all day-to-day plastic items. Recent analysis estimates estimated around 230,000 tonnes of nurdles are lost to the environment annually.
Liability and compensation for ship-source oil pollution in the marine environment. An overview (2021)
This booklet, written together with the International Group of P&I Clubs and the IOPC Funds, provides an overview of the international, and selected national, arrangements in place for compensation of costs arising from pollution damage caused by oil spills from ships in the marine environment, and some background on ‘who pays’.
The question as to whether oil tankers should carry oil spill response equipment onboard has been the subject of debate for many years. This paper focuses on the carriage and deployment of pollution response equipment from oil tankers. Nonetheless, many of the factors discussed can apply equally to the carriage of such equipment on the myriad other types of vessels trading commercially.
This presentation will explore some trends from these recent incidents and focus on a few key case studies (including the LADY TUNA incident in Turkey and AGIA ZONI II in Greece) to consider the main technical challenges and lessons learned.
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.