In addition to the costs incurred in cleaning up oil spills, serious financial losses are sometimes experienced by economic sectors that rely on clean seawater and clean coastal areas. Typically, the greatest economic impacts are felt in commercial fisheries and tourism, although a great number of other sectors can be affected, such as power plants, shipping, salt production or seawater desalination. This paper considers some of the effects of oil spills on a variety of coastal industries and social activities and considers measures which might reduce their impact. Given their particular importance, the effects of oil spills on fisheries and mariculture are considered in a separate Technical Information Paper.
19 May 2014