Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Record low in oil spills in Baltic detected by aerial surveillance in 2013

Date:
February 11, 2014
Source:
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Summary:
The Finnish Border Guard The Finnish Border Guard's surveillance flights discovered only nine illegal oil spills on the Baltic in 2013. The record number of 107 oil spills was reported in 2001. The size of the spills has also decreased markedly. In 2013, the average spill was roughly five litres, compared to 180 in 2001.

Maritime traffic photographed from a surveillance aircraft in August 2013.
Credit: SYKE/ Kati Tahvonen

The Finnish Border Guard The Finnish Border Guard's surveillance flights discovered only nine illegal oil spills on the Baltic in 2013. The record number of 107 oil spills was reported in 2001. The size of the spills has also decreased markedly. In 2013, the average spill was roughly five litres, compared to 180 in 2001.

Related Articles


The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) seeks to eliminate illegal oil spills on the Baltic by 2021. The situation is monitored with the help of aerial surveillance statistics compiled by Baltic Sea states. In light of the Finnish statistics for 2013, achieving this target seems possible.

Finland also records non-aerial observations

In addition to aerial surveillance, the Finnish Border Guard and rescue services report oil spills in ports or close to shore. The total number of all oil spill observations is also on the decline. In 2013, Finnish authorities discovered 50 oil spills. As a rule, the spills were small in size.

The Finnish Border Guard investigates all oil spills. An oil pollution fee can be imposed on the owner or manager of a vessel guilty of a spill. The Finnish Border Guard may also elect to initiate a pre-trial investigation. In 2013, the Border Guard conducted nine investigations as a result of oil spills.

International cooperation and surveillance operations

Finnish aircraft conducted approximately 625 hours of aerial surveillance on the Baltic in 2013. The majority of flights took place within Finnish territory, with roughly one quarter of total flight time spent on the territory of other countries. Aircraft from neighboring countries correspondingly performed 230 hours of aerial surveillance in Finnish territory.

Two of the oil spills discovered by Finnish aircraft were located in the territory of Estonia and one in Swedish territory. Estonian surveillance flights observed three oil spills on Finnish waters.

In 2013, Finnish authorities also participated in surveillance operations for the enhanced monitoring of oil spills on busy shipping lanes. Two of these operations were conducted on the Baltic and one on the North Sea.

International cross-border cooperation in oil spill surveillance is vital, particularly on the narrow Gulf of Finland, where ships navigate on the border of the Finnish and Estonian economic zones.

Modern surveillance equipment and satellite images

Finnish, Swedish and Estonian surveillance aircraft have all modernized their environmental surveillance equipment in recent years. The updated equipment enables the monitoring of shipping also in poor weather and darkness. A side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) can detect oil spills several dozens of kilometres away from the surveillance plane's route. The aircraft are also equipped with devices for the identification of vessels.

Oil spills are also monitored through the CleanSeaNet satellite image service of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). In 2013, 215 satellite images were taken in Finnish territory.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). "Record low in oil spills in Baltic detected by aerial surveillance in 2013." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211083903.htm>.
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). (2014, February 11). Record low in oil spills in Baltic detected by aerial surveillance in 2013. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211083903.htm
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). "Record low in oil spills in Baltic detected by aerial surveillance in 2013." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140211083903.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins