27 April 2010
A viewpoint paper entitled 'Accidental spills at sea - Risk, impact, mitigation and the need for co-ordinated post-incident monitoring' by Mark F. Kirby and Robin J. Law has been recently published online by Marine Pollution Bulletin.
The issues addressed are of direct relevance to post spill monitoring and impact assessment and the Premiam project is used as a case study of an appropriate approach.
It can be viewed in the publications section of this website or through Elseviers Marine Pollution Bulletin website.
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.cefas.defra.gov.uk/premiam) project is considered as an example of an improved approach to the planning, co-ordination and conduct of post-incident monitoring.
Please cite this article in press as: Kirby, M.F., Law, R.J. Accidental spills at sea - Risk, impact, mitigation and the need for co-ordinated post-incident monitoring. Mar. Pollut. Bull. (2010), doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.03.015