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Available from: Antonio Bode, Apr 04, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Oil spills, for example those due to tanker collisions and groundings or platform accidents, can have huge adverse impacts on marine systems. The impact of an oil spill at sea depends on a number of factors, such as spill volume, type of oil spilled, weather conditions, and proximity to environmentally, economically, or socially sensitive areas. Oil spilled at sea threatens marine organisms, whole ecosystems, and economic resources in the immediate vicinity, such as fisheries, aquaculture, recreation, and tourism. Adequate response to any oil spill to minimize damage is therefore of great importance. The common response to an oil spill is to remove all visible oil from the water surface, either mechanically or by using chemicals to disperse the oil into the water column to biodegrade. This is not always the most suitable response to an oil spill, as the chemical application itself may also have adverse effects, or no response may be needed. In this article we discuss advantages and disadvantages of using chemical treatments to reduce the impact of an oil spill in relation to the conditions of the spill. The main characteristics of chemical treatment agents are discussed and presented within the context of a basic decision support scheme.
    Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 04/2012; 8(2):231-41. DOI:10.1002/ieam.273
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    ABSTRACT: Following the accident of the oil tanker ‘Prestige’, we surveyed the large scale fuel deposition patterns on the Cantabrian shore (northern Spain) covering three regions (from west to east): (i) Asturias, west of Cape Peñas (24 segments surveyed); (ii) Asturias, east of Cape Peñas (33 segments surveyed); and (iii) Cantabria (also east of Cape Peñas, 256 segments surveyed). Fuel arrived to the Cantabrian Coast as a single oil wave which was more intense to the east than to the west of Cape Peñas. The mean percentage of coast length affected was 25, 41 and 15% in western Asturias, eastern Asturias and Cantabria, respectively. However, less than 10% of the substrate was covered by fuel in oiled patches, thus the impact was moderate. We conclude that these patterns are consistent with fuel transport by the Iberian Poleward Current, a hydrographic feature typical of this region during winter.
    Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 04/2008; 88(03):463 - 468. DOI:10.1017/S0025315408000830 · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of the Spanish scientific community in the initial assessment of the environmental and socioeconomic damages caused by the Prestige oil spill is analysed. A discussion of the reasons for the failures in the response of the scientific community is presented, highlighting that despite the existence of adequate human capital and infrastructures, failures were related to the weakness of the structures and organisational capacity of the scientific institutions and the public administration. Some developments for an effective response to future catastrophes are proposed: (1) oceanographic and ecological models, including scientific and local knowledge; (2) management systems for scientific information; (3) organisational and incentive systems to allow the creation of temporary, large and well-organised multidisciplinary teams; (4) protocols for rapid, "real-time", damage assessments; and (5) participation of different social groups (NGOs, fishers' organisations, aquaculture industry or volunteer groups) in plans for the assessment and management of crises.
    Marine Policy 07/2006; 30(4):308-314. DOI:10.1016/j.marpol.2005.03.002 · 2.62 Impact Factor