Some rare good news. Oil tanker spills into world oceans: there
aren't as many as there used to be, and they do not do as much
damage as they used to do.
According to the excellent newsletter of the International Tanker Owners Pollution
Federation, both the number of oil spills and the quantity
spilled has gone down significantly over the last 10 years. This is
great progress, although all oil spills do damage, and even
further reductions are needed.
ITOPF is a voluntary organization which provides pooled
liability protection, funded by levies on bulk liquid
cargo ships around the world. It plays an important
role both in preventing and in responding to marine oil
spills. Its current priority areas are the Arctic and India,
as well as spills of hazardous and noxious substances
(HNS) and wreck removal.
ITOPF was established by tanker owners in the wake of the TORREY
CANYON disaster, originally to administer a voluntary oil
spill compensation agreement called TOVALOP (Tanker Owners
Voluntary Agreement concerning Liability for Oil Pollution). The
Agreement remained in place for some 27 years (up to 1997) pending
widespread ratification of the Civil Liability Convention which
provides compensation in the case of spills of persistent oil from
tankers. Over this period ITOPF established a reputation as
a source of objective technical advice for spills of oil and
chemicals from ships. Although originally established by tanker
owners, the growing proportion of fuel oil spills arising from
other types of ship led to ITOPF extending its services to all
ships in February 1999.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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