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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.
By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer
Reprinted with permission from the Dianne Saxe's Environmental Law Blog.
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Since one of the main sources of marine oil pollution is the clearing of oil tankers on the high seas, each state is obliged to control the area of the sea that it owns and its own fleet, as well as to apply strict penalties for the violations detected. Of course, there should not be such disasters, which would ultimately force the authorities to revise existing international binding standards. During the year, when cleaning mineral oils in the North Sea, more than 100,000 tons of oil was extracted.
A large amount of oil falls into the sea as a result of accidents and pollution of rivers. Anyone who pours old oil into the sewer or directly to the ground becomes the culprit of pollution of the sea.
Water purification from fuel oil can cost millions, but it will not protect the fauna from the consequences of pollution. Many ecological disasters could not have happened if the state introduced more stringent environmental protection laws.
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