Research activities related to oil pollution incidents
This report is based on the proceedings of an ad hoc Working Group of ICES, which was set up to consider what scientilicstudies can and should be initiated in relation to spills of oil at sea. The output of the Working Group was discussed by the Marine Environmental Quality Committee (MEQC) and by the Advisory Committee on Marine Pollution (ACMP), and, in producing this report, comments of these Committees as well as comments from appropriate experts in member countries have been taken into account. While the central matters discussed are those concerned with the sort of scientific program designed to provide information on the effects of spills, the report also ranges over both pre- and post-spill situations. The need for and value of maps of environmental characteristics and resources is emphasised, and the problems discussed. In the area of physical data, the spreading of oil on the sea and its subsequent weathering are considered and the use of models of physical parameters referred to. The contribution from geological expertise is also considered. The various techniques and the available equipment for collecting samples of water, sediments and organisms for study in relation to an oil spill are presented and evaluated. In the field of chemistry, analytical methods are reviewed, problems of interpretation examined, and the need for adequate intercalibration emphasised. Biological effects of oil on all the main components of the ecosystem are separately dealt with, and proposals made for the optimum study program. In view of the importance of microbiological processes, a separate section is devoted to sampling methods in the field.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee
- Historical content