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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DISCOBIOL: Assessment of the impact of dispersant use for oil spill response in coastal or estuarine areas (2014)

The DISCOBIOL research program aims to provide practical recommendations on dispersant use in coastal and estuarine areas by acquiring relevant (in terms of likely dispersed oil concentrations) and robust experimental information on the impact of mechanically and chemically dispersed oil on living resources.

Categories: Papers , Response Techniques, Dispersants

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Oil spill dispersants - Myths & mysteries unravelled (2002)

The subject of oil spill dispersants has attracted greater attention in recent years as more countries have sought to develop legislation permitting their use. Claims about the improved effectiveness of 'new generation' dispersants coupled with concern about possible toxic effects have created a confused and emotionally charged arena in which to debate this topic.

Categories: Papers , Response Techniques, Dispersants

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The use of chemical dispersants to combat oil spills at sea: a review of practice and research needs in Europe (2007)

In order to better understand the practice of dispersant use, a review has been undertaken of marine oil spills over a 10 year period (1995 – 2005), looking in particular at variations between different regions and oil-types. This viewpoint presents and analyses the review data and examines a range of dispersant use policies.

Categories: Papers , Dispersants

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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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