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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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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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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