Article

Accidental spills at sea - Risk, impact, mitigation and the need for co-ordinated post-incident monitoring

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Cefas Lowestoft Laboratory, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT, UK. <>
Marine Pollution Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.99). 04/2010; 60(6):797-803. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.03.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

A fully integrated and effective response to an oil or chemical spill at sea must include a well planned and executed post-incident assessment of environmental contamination and damage. While salvage, rescue and clean-up operations are generally well considered, including reviews and exercises, the expertise, resources, networks and logistical planning required to achieve prompt and effective post-spill impact assessment and monitoring are not generally well established. The arrangement and co-ordination of post-incident monitoring and impact assessment need to consider sampling design, biological effects, chemical analysis and collection/interpretation of expert local knowledge. This paper discusses the risks, impacts and mitigation options associated with accidental spills and considers the importance of pre-considered impact assessment and monitoring programmes in the wider response cycle. The PREMIAM (Pollution Response in Emergencies: Marine Impact Assessment and Monitoring; www.premiam.org) project is considered as an example of an improved approach to the planning, co-ordination and conduct of post-incident monitoring.

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    • "The growing concern about environmental problems of great magnitude has led to increased demand for ways of preventing and mitigating the environmental impacts that may occur (Kirby and Law, 2010; Anderson, 2002). Hydrocarbons from oil accidentally released into the environment cause severe environmental disturbances, damaging the biota and economy of the hit site (De la Huz et al., 2005). "
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    • "In 1999, the Erika oil spill caused USD 549.1 million of ecological damage and USD 234.3 million of material damage in France [14– 16]. The Prestige oil spill occurred off the Galician coast of Spain in 2002, and resulted in a loss of 66% of species richness in some areas, with detectable effects on sediment quality and on offshore fish and crustacean fisheries [17] [18] [19] [20]. Based on Liu and Wirtz [21], the overall cost for the Prestige was nearly EUR2250 million including the commercial and environmental losses, cleanup costs, research costs and other expenditures. "
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    • "However, relative scarcity of the literature on the effectiveness evaluation of ERS is emphasized, and the area of ERS for oil spill is particularly underdeveloped. Some literatures only focus on the part of the ERS, which includes coordination between the military and civilian organizations during emergency (Salmon et al. 2011), the importance of updating information during the emergence response (Vivacqua and Borges 2012) , the improvement of the response time to increase the effectiveness of ERS (Mustaffa and Kazunori 2012) , effectiveness of response team features (Leach and Mayo 2013 ), the effectiveness of training in organizations ( Winfred et al. 2003), the stakeholders' perspective of prioritizing oil spill objectives (Tuler and Webler 2009), and post-incident assessment of environmental contamination and damage (Kirby and Law 2010). However, the emergency response comprises a series of interrelated and interdependent components and activities. "
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