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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TIP 12: Effects of oil pollution on social and economic activities

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.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Economic effects

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TIP 11: Effects of oil pollution on fisheries and mariculture

This paper describes the effects of ship-source oil pollution on fishing and mariculture and provides guidance on response measures and management strategies which may help to reduce the severity of oil spill impacts. Damage to other economic resources is considered in a separate Technical Information Paper.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Environmental effects, Economic effects

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TIP 10: Leadership, command & management of oil spills

This paper considers many of the situations encountered in a response to ship-source pollution and explains how effective leadership, command and management can maximise the success of response operations. Many of the subjects touched on are discussed in greater detail in other ITOPF papers in this series, as listed on the back cover, but in particular, the paper on Contingency Planning for Marine Oil Spills.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Planning & operations

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TIP 09: Disposal of oil and debris

This paper explores the various options available for the management of waste material generated as a result of ship-source oil spills in the marine environment.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Planning & operations, Disposal

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TIP 08: Use of sorbent materials in oil spill response

This paper considers the types of sorbents available and how they may be used beneficially in a response. It should be read in conjunction with other ITOPF papers in this series, particularly on the use of booms, the use of skimmers, shoreline clean-up techniques and the disposal of oil and debris.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Response Techniques

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TIP 07: Clean-up of oil from shorelines

This paper describes commonly used shoreline clean-up techniques and provides advice on which are best suited to each stage of operations for a range of different shoreline types.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Response Techniques

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TIP 06: Recognition of oil on shorelines

In cases of large spills, the source of stranded oil may be obvious, but the question of identification frequently arises when a small amount of oil is involved and compensation is sought for damage or clean-up costs. The purpose of this paper is to assist the reader in recognising both the type and quantity of oil on differing shorelines.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Response Techniques, Planning & operations

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TIP 05: Use of skimmers in oil pollution response

This paper describes the fundamental requirements for the successful use of skimmers in the situations most likely to be encountered during an oil spill and should be read in conjunction with other ITOPF papers in this series, in particular, on the use of booms, shoreline clean-up techniques and the disposal of oil.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Response Techniques, Containment & Recovery, Planning & operations

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TIP 04: Use of dispersants to treat oil spills

This paper provides an overview of the use and limitations of dispersants on floating oil, as one of a range of options available for response to ship-source marine oil spills.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Response Techniques, Dispersants

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TIP 03: Use of booms in oil pollution response

This paper describes the principles of boom design and the two main modes of operation, namely towing by vessels at sea and mooring in shallow or inshore waters.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Response Techniques, Containment & Recovery, Planning & operations

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