Long-Term Assessments Of Some Vessel-Source Marine Pollutants

  • Trevor Dixon

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Accidental and deliberate discharges from maritime transportation activities have been widely perceived as major sources of pollution. Preventive and control management strategies have therefore been progressively introduced internationally to reduce and eliminate these inputs to the marine environment. The long-term effectiveness of these measures, applied to vessels operating in the waters around the British Isles, is the research question that has been under investigation by the author since 1971.

    Following analyses of stakeholders' interests and concerns, and associated information requirements, the aims and objectives of a phased work programme were identified. These focused primarily upon three vessel-source marine pollutants; oil or oily mixtures, packaged dangerous or harmful goods and garbage.

    After a review of the literature, assessment strategies, designs, methodologies and analytical techniques were devised and applied over varying spatial and temporal scales. A data acquisition and management system, utilising questionnaire returns from 13 reporting organisations, was employed to support an annual survey on marine oil pollution. A similar approach, combined with published information, facilitated a characterisation of packaged chemical incidents around the coastline and changes over time.

    To determine different sources and other attributes of marine litter, an ocean-focused beach survey design was devised and applied on the shores of the English Channel, Irish Sea, North-East Atlantic Ocean and North Sea. A series of surface drift experiments and an open-water sighting survey provided further information on movements and densities of marine litter in the open sea.

    Research outputs, including the publications submitted, have been reviewed and identified as authoritative sources of information by the competent authorities and other interested parties. These include the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, European Commission, International Maritime Organisation, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Smithsonian Institution for Short-Lived Phenomena and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    Date of AwardDec 1997
    Original languageEnglish

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