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?

Explore the resources

Search filters

TIP 17: Response to Marine Chemical Incidents

This paper provides an introduction to the issues involved in responding to chemical spills and addresses the range of hazards present, the behaviour of chemicals when spilt at sea and briefly reviews available response options.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , HNS

Read more

TIP 16: Contingency planning for marine oil spills

This paper outlines the typical format and content of contingency plans for response to ship-source spills and highlights the key steps required for an effective plan.

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

Read more

TIP 15: Preparation and submission of claims from oil pollution

This paper provides guidance on the information to be recorded and the documentation or other evidence required to support a claim. The process by which a claim should be compiled and submitted is also outlined. This paper is applicable primarily to spills of oil from ships although many of the points raised will be relevant to spills of oil from other sources

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Compensation

Read more

TIP 14: Sampling and monitoring of marine oil spills

This paper provides a broad overview of the monitoring and sampling procedures that can be used for qualitative and quantitative monitoring of oil contamination. While qualitative analyses can confirm the source of oil contamination, monitoring programmes are often concerned with the quantitative changes in hydrocarbon levels over time. Guidance on analytical best practice is given and common terminology is explained. However, the techniques and observations required to monitor specific ecological or biological effects and to monitor contaminants in the air are beyond the scope of this paper.

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

Read more

TIP 13: Effects of oil pollution on the marine environment

This paper describes the effects of ship-source oil spills and resultant clean-up activities on marine flora and fauna, and their habitats. Particular attention is devoted to discussing the complex interactions between oil and biological systems, which have been the subject of diverse studies over many years. Separate ITOPF papers consider the specific effects of oil on fisheries and mariculture and on wider human activity.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Environmental effects

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more