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A Consideration of the Environmental Component of the IMO Guidelines on Places of Refuge for Ships in Need of Assistance with Special Reference to Oil Pollution

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Chapter Summary

The production of International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines could be seen as a reaction to specific major oil spill incidents where the notion of 'places of refuge' was advocated by a number of parties, including media interests. Environmental concerns that would arise in the event of an oil spill at sea depend on the location of the incident and the passage to the place of refuge. Many of the major well-publicised oil spills have been caused by grounding and wrecking on a coastline, and an extensive literature exits in describing both these events and their environmental consequences. Distance from the shoreline can be defined easily by measurement and, in general, the greater the distance from the coast, the more time becomes available to counter the oil spill effects and provide for natural processes to minimise most of the oil pollution problems.

Keywords: International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines; oil pollution; place of refuge



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