The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) issued its oil spill statistics, noting a continuing decrease at the frequency of oil spills from tankers. With one large and two medium oil spills in 2019, the number in 2019 was the lowest in 50 years, ITOPF notes.
Last week, SAFETY4SEA remembered the Torrey Canyon oil spill, which claimed the title of the worst environmental tanker disaster in March 1967. The sinking of the Amoco Cadiz more than a decade later came to claim again the title of the world’s worst oil spill, putting another dark spot in the environmental record of shipping.
An oil spill is the potential adverse effect of most maritime incidents. Oil spills can have disastrous consequences, environmentally and economically. Oil spill response at sea is most times a complex procedure, because of the remoteness of the site or the number of interested parties.
ITOPF published a Handbook, containing valuable information and guidance for those likely to be involved in oil spills, chemicals or other substances from ships. The 2019/20 edition has been fully revised, introducing new graphics, further information on ITOPF’s technical services and a brand new section on different types of marine spills.
The first large spill occurred in June, when the ‘Rama 2’ sank in the Indian Ocean with over 5000 tonnes of oil onboard. The second incident concerned the sinking of Agia Zhoni II off the coast of Greece in September, spilling about 700 tonnes of oil. The number of large spills decreased significantly over the last few decades and since 2010 averages 1.8 per year.
Over half-way into this decade and the downward trend in oil spills from tankers continues, ITOPF notes. The average number of large oil spills from tankers, i.e. greater than 700 tonnes, has progressively reduced and since 2010 averages 1.7 per year.
ITOPF has released Oil Tanker Spill Statistics for 2015 which reveals that the downward trend in oil spills from tankers continues. For the last three and a half decades the average number of incidents involving large oil spills, i.e. greater than 700 tonnes, from tankers has progressively reduced and since 2010 stands at an average of 1.8 per year.
ITOPF ‘s Senior Technical Adviser, Kelly Reynolds, presented earlier this year at INTERSPILL conference a white paper examining post- spill environmental studies.
ITOPF has presented a poster which includes a visualization of spill risk to understand and assess all regions of heightened vulnerability associated with increased seaborne transport of oil.
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