Marine oil pollution

Marine oil pollution

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Technologies and methodologies for detection and early warning
Information technology and telecommunications
Environmental degradation
Target audience: Scientific

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION
JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE
Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen
1-21020 Ispra (VA) Italy
Marine Oil Pollution
Technologies and Methodologies for
Detection and Early Warning
Delilah H.A. Al-Khudhairy
2002 EUR 20231 EN EUROPEAN COMMISSION
JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE
Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen
1-21020 Ispra (VA) Italy
Marine Oil Pollution
Technologies and Methodologies for
Detection and Early Warning
Delilah H.A. Al-Khudhairy
2002 EUR 20231 EN Mission
The mission of the Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen is to provide
research-based, systems-oriented support to EU policies so as to protect the citizen. The main
application areas are cyber-security and the fight against fraud; natural, technological and
economic risks; humanitarian security, non-proliferation and nuclear safeguards. The Institute
will continue to maintain and develop its expertise in information, communication, space and
engineering technologies in support of its mission.
LEGAL NOTICE
Neither the European Commission nor any person
acting on behalf of then is responsible for the
use which might be made of the following information.
A great deal of additional information on the
European Union is available on the Internet.
It can be accessed through the Europa server
(http://europa.eu.int).
EUR 20231 EN
© European Communities, 2002
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged
Printed in Italy Legal notice
The contents of this report do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European
Communities or other European Communities institutions. Neither the European Commission
nor any person or company acting on the behalf of the European Commission is responsible
for the use that may be made of the information contained in this report.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was funded by the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC)
under its exploratory research budget for the year 2001.
The author is grateful to Martyn Dowell and Iain Shepherd for reviewing and commenting on
various parts of the report. The authors is also grateful to DG ENV's Civil Protection Unit and
in particular Guido Ferraro and Louise Head for hosting the November 2001 oil spill
workshop which was organised by JRC-IPSC on "Marine Oil Pollution: Technologies and
methodologies for detection & early warning". The workshop participants provided
invaluable contributions, most of which are summarised in the concluding chapter of this
report. Special thanks to the workshop participants: Darko Domovic (REMPEC), Michael
Fecke (Logica pdv), Jerzy Graff (British Maritime Technologies), Giovanni Gemelli
(European Space Agency, Italy), Bertrand de Hauteclocque (EADS/Matra Systèmes &
Information), Huib Könings (North Sea Directorate of the Ministry of Transport, Public
Works and Water management in the Netherlands), Grant Pollock (QinetiQ, UK), Jerry
Stanley (UK Maritime Coast Guard Authority), Per Erik Skrøvseth (Norwegian Space
Centre), Rune Solberg (Norwegian Computing Centre), Thomas Spence (Dept. of Trade &
Industry, UK), Dario Tarchi (JRC-Ispra), Michel Cornaert (DG RTD), Olaf
Trieschmann (Federal Institute of Hydrology), Christoph von Viebahn (University o
Greifswald, Germany), and Michel Verbauwhede (European Space Agency, Belgium).
n Executive Summary
This report presents the results of the one-year exploratory research project carried out
in the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen during 2001 and the
workshop organised by the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Protection and
Security of the Citizen in November 2001 on "Marine oil pollution: technologies and
methodologies for detection and early warning. The project was established to address
specific needs of DG Information Society (INFSO), DG Environment (ENV) and DG
Research (RTD) in the fields of marine oil pollution and technologies and
methodologies for detection and early warning. DG ENV is interested in the
identification of technologies leading to successful prosecution of the pollution
culprit. DG RTD is interested, in the context of the Global Monitoring for
Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, in lessons learnt and
research/technological gaps identified from projects funded under the Fourth and Fifth
Framework Programmes. DG INFSO is aware that there is overlap between different
projects, partly due to the fact that many of them are funded fromt
Programmes - Telematics, Esprit, Information Society Technologies, Environment
and Climate, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, and INCO support
to developing countries. DG INFSO is keen on any efforts to add value to these
projects and to get feedback on the contribution of the tools and technologies
developed in these projects towards addressing operational oil spill detection and
polluter identification.
Projects funded within the Fourth and Fifth Framework
Programmes
There have been numerous projects funded within the Fourth and Fifth Framework
Programmes (FW4 and FWP5) addressing directly and indirectly the problem of
marine oil pollution. Some projects focused on developing airborne surveillance
systems for detecting oil spills, some on developing satellite-based oil spill services,
others on identifying the boundaries of using earth observation data for detecting oil
spills, and some on developing Internet-based distributed information systems. As a
result, a number of databases, oil spill detection algorithms, and software tools have
been developed. The projects fall into three categories:
(1) Pilot projects whose main aims include assessing (a) the use of earth
observation (EO) data for operational marine oil spill detection and
surveillance and (b) the procedure of data processing, dissemination and
archival (satellite imagery and oil spill reports) to meet the needs of
operational end-users such as pollution control authorities.
(2) Research projects whose main aim is to investigate the application of
earth observation for detection and monitoring of marine oil pollution.
These projects differ from pilot projects in two ways: they do not take
into consideration the real-time use of EO data and the mechanisms for
achieving fast processing and delivery of oil spill information.
(3) Projects that aim to design and implement the infrastructure for an
integrated access to heterogeneous data and information sources. These
projects deal with different levels of aggregated and raw coastal and
111 marine environment data, and propose different solutions that range from
local storage of all data and meta-data to highly distributed data.
The projects were assessed in terms of their effectiveness in contributing to:
(a) Enhanced operational oil spill detection/monitoring and identification
of pollution culprit.
(b) Developing oil spill statistics and indicators.
(c)g distributed information management systems suitable for
archival and dissemination of oil spill statistics and other relevant
information.
The conclusions of this assessment are presented in this report by addressing the
question: is there a need for improved marine oil pollution surveillance? The answers
to this question are formulated by addressing two types of:
1. Surveillance for implementing, controlling and enforcing legislation
relevant to marine oil pollution control and prevention.
2.e for building oil spill statistical databases that can be used to
identify oil spill hot spots and to assess trends in marine oil pollution.
In addition, recommendations drawn from the workshop organised by the Joint
Research Centre's Institute for Protection and Security of the Citizen in November
2001 on "Marine oil pollution: technologies and methodologies for detection and
early warning" are also used to formulate answers to these two questions.
Developing and applying technologies to support
surveillance for implementing, controlling and enforcing
legislation relevant to marine oil pollution control and
prevention: lessons learnt from FW4 AND FW5 projects
and recommendations drawn from the Marine Oil Pollution
workshop
Concerning "surveillance for implementing, controlling and enforcing legislation
relevant to marine oil pollution control and prevention", the results show that although
pilot projects can successfully, through continuous funding support, particularly from
organisations with interest in providing operational oil spill detection services,
proceed from demonstration phase to a fully operational one providing oil spill
services, within 1-2 hours from completion of a satellite pass, satellite-based services
alone cannot be used for operational oil spill detection. At best, they can be currently
used together with airborne data to provide a more efficient and cost-effective
solution to operational oil spill services. The projects have also identified the technical
barriers of using satellite technologies for oil spill detection. However, none of the
projects have attempted to examine and integrate new technologies (vessel detection
and forensic) in order to assess their effectiveness in identifying the pollution
culprit(s).
IV The results also show that combined traditional space- and air-borne technologies
currently used by pollution control authorities in European waters still cannot
effectively contribute to the successful prosecution of the pollution culprit. The Bonn
Agreement is the best example of a regional agreement that enjoys full cooperation of
contracting parties in coordinated national flight plans, in areas of mutual interest,
standarised reporting formats and exchange of information. However, in spite of these
arrangements as well as guidelines produced by contracting parties to the agreement
on evidence gathering of illegal oil discharges from ships and the legal requirements
ofe for judicial pursuit of violations, only 1 in 10 polluters are identified and
only five cases are successfully prosecuted annually. Several reasons are put forward
herein to explain why so few polluters are successfully prosecuted for illegal oil
discharges. One of the main reasons is the technologies that are traditionally used for
oil spill surveillance, which at best can locate the oil spill, verify its type and even
estimate its thickness. But they cannot precisely identify the pollution culprit.
Moreover, although other newer methods, such as the EUROCRUDE system, appear
to provide enforcement agencies with enhanced legally defensible information for
polluter identification and prosecution purposes they still have to be used with other
forms of recognised evidence in court (e.g. ship's oil record book and videotape of oil
dumping incident). In addition, systems such as the EUROCRUDE system can at best
indicate the degree of likelihood that both the oil spill and ship samples share a
common source e.g. the bunkering station as opposed to definite evidence that the oil
spill came from a specific suspect vessel. It is clear that recent advances in technology
will enhance verification of oil spills, estimation of oil thickness, visualisation of oil
dumping activities and even vessels' registration at night-time in the vicinity of oil
spills. However, only two of the latest technologies, DNA tagging and automatic
identification systems, look promising for precise identification of the pollution
culprit and hence their eventual successful prosecution.
At the workshop organised by the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Security and
Protection of the Citizen in November 2001 on "Marine oil pollution: technologies
and methodologies for detection and early warning", the workshop participants
concluded that operational oil spill surveillance for successful identification and
prosecution of pollution culprits requires an integrated service based on data from
several sources including space, air, ship and perhaps land monitoring. The
surveillance service must also include forensic data (e.g. oil fingerprinting or DNA
tagging) and information arising from navigation/positional systems (e.g. automatic
identification systems fitted on vessels). Automatic identification systems and DNA
tagging offer the promising solutions to the current dilemma of precise identification
of the pollution culprit.
Surveillance for building oil spill statistical databases that
can be used to identify oil spill hot spots and to assess trends
in marine oil pollution
The results presented in this report show that although some work has been carried
out and/or is underway on analysing airborne and satellite oil spill surveillance data
acquired for some regional waters in Europe in order to develop oil spill statistics and
indicators, no effort has been made in past and ongoing project to: