Welcome to Pollution Control Week!

Photo: NOAA

“Oil on troubled waters” is the appropriate title to Kent Stewart’s Boroscope column that leads into this month’s Pollution Control Week. He reviews the history of the development of serious interest in the subject since the grounding of the supertanker Torrey Canyon near the beautiful Scilly Isles off South-West England so long ago.

That grounding and the resultant massive oil spill certainly raised the world’s consciousness as far as marine pollution is concerned. There have been numerous other examples since of major tanker accidents culminating in the highly publicised Exxon Valdez grounding in Alaska in the late eighties but, importantly, they led to significant and very effective reforms to oil tanker safety. IMO and the tanker industry association INTERTANKO have shown what can be achieved by a well conceived and concerted “carrot and stick” approach.

Oil Spill Response • Rubbish Cleanup • Recovery Equipment • Marine Environment • Water Quality Management

While the past thirty years have seen the amount of oil “spilt” annually by tankers reduced to negligible, almost infinitesimally small gallonage, the world has discovered other new and important forms of marine pollution. Some of this, like vegetation such as water hyacinth, has been a significant natural problem for years but others, such as various forms of plastics and farm “runoff”, have come to prominence more recently.

Some of that pollution, of course, can be effectively choked off at source by improving human behaviour and reducing littering or the use of long-lived packaging. Farmers can be taught the benefits of controlling “run off” and of reducing the quantities of fertiliser they use anyway. There are now seemingly dozens of NGOs around the world that have followed in the wake of Greece’s very successful HELMEPA in awakening people generally to the perils of marine pollution and their role in both creating and preventing it. However, there is still a vast amount of polluting material floating in the world’s seas and waterways that remains to be collected or controlled.

Baird Maritime’s Pollution Control Week will, over the next few days, look at various forms of pollution that are afflicting the world’s waterways and, more importantly, some of the new vessels and equipment that have recently been introduced to do battle with that scourge. These responses have been developed globally from Spain to Thailand. They involve an array of interesting techniques.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

COLUMN | Oil on troubled waters [The Boroscope]

– “These are the tankers we remember by name, for no other reason than their losses led to huge regulatory changes and changes to the design of hulls and navigational controls. “

– by Kent Stewart, founder of maritime consultancy Maritime Engineers and Baird Maritime‘s resident expert on commercial shipping and the offshore industries

FEATURE | Norwegian laser technology applications in marine plastic detection

– “The system can accurately and precisely detect different sizes of plastic and display this data to enhance user performance, while also providing key information both prior to and after clean-up operations.”

News and Gear:

Recent Important Features:

INTERVIEW | Damen to convert Swedish Coastguard patrol boat into oil recovery/research vessel

– “The decision for the refit was instead the result of a long-term gradual change in focus by the KBV towards environmental monitoring and protection.”

– by Nelson Dela Cruz, Baird Maritime correspondent

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the global tug and salvage sectors? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and June 18), so we can add it to this current edition of Pollution Recovery Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the pollution recovery sector
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, builders, designers etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the marine pollution recovery world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.