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This report presents the results of the one-year exploratory research project carried out in the Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen (IPSC) during 2001 and the workshop organised by the IPSC in November 2001 on "Marine oil pollution: technologies and methodologies for detection and early warning". An assessment was made of the projects funded within the Fourth and Fifth Framework Programmes that addressed the problem of marine oil pollution. The results show that satellite-based services alone cannot be used for operational oil spill detection. At the workshop, participants concluded that successful identification and prosecution of pollution culprits requires an integrated service based on data from several sources, including space, air, ship and land monitoring. Automatic identification systems fitted to vessels and oil fingerprinting or DNA tagging offer promising solutions to this problem.

The report also examines the issue of 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, and discusses the issue of regional versus pan-European cooperation in oil spill surveillance. The role of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative in developing operational systems for the identification and risk management of oil spills is also discussed.

Additional information

Authors: AL-KHUDHAIRY D H A, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20231 EN (2002), pp.175. Free of charge.
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail:
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