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 17 Technical Information Papers which are fully illustrated with photos and diagrams and are available in several languages. 


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? 


How does oil impact seabirds, plankton, sea mammals and the shoreline?  


Which industries might suffer temporary economic losses and loss of market confidence?


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? 


What techniques are available for cleaning up oil at sea and on the shoreline?


What planning and waste management systems need to be put in place to reduce the volume of oily waste for treatment or disposal?


What legal arrangements and sources of compensation are available for a spill from a ship?

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To remove or not to remove? Dealing with pollution risks from ship wrecks (2017)

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.

Categories: Papers , Planning & operations

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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.

Categories: Papers , Compensation

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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.

Categories: Papers , Environmental effects

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The use and misuse of SCAT in spill response (2017)

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.

Categories: Papers , Environmental effects

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Implementation of oil spill mitigation measures in fisheries and mariculture (2017)

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.

Categories: Papers , Economic effects

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Response considerations when marine spills affect coastal agriculture (2017)

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.

Categories: Papers , Economic effects

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ITOPF R&D Award: A shipping industry's initiative to support research and development (2015)

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.

Categories: Papers , Training & Education

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Trends in Oil Spills from Tankers Over the Past Ten Years (2015)

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).

Categories: Papers , Information Services

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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.

Categories: Papers

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The ITOPF perspective on current challenges in responding to an oil spill in the Arctic (2015)

(Overheads only) Introduction to ITOPF; The Arctic and Northern routes; Operational challenges and response options; Preparedness and capabilities; Conclusions

Categories: Arctic policy, Papers

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