Oil spills

Marpol & Solas - [Prof.Dr. Mkerrem Fatma lkk]

TURKEY’s geographical position and the volume of our trade make our waters some of the busiest for shipping in the world.stanbul and anakkale Straits are most of the busiest stretches in water in the world.Istanbul strait connects the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and it enables the transportation of oil produced in the north of Black Sea to other countires directly.

Pollution incidents involving the discharge of oil ,chemicals or other materials into the sea in the waters around Turkey happen for a variety of reasons.Almost any incident at sea that causes significant structural damage to a vessel at sea presents the potential for causes significant structural damage to a vessel at sea presents the the potential for causing oil polllution.Causes of oil spills from ships are as the result of collision or groundings.

Larger ships use heavier,higher viscosity residual fuel oils, such as a container ship may contain several thousand tonnes of heavy fuel oil.HFOs are thick,black residual oils that are very persistent in the marine environment.

Any incident such a collision ,grounding,hull failure or fires or explosions involving an oil tanker has the potential to cause a large volume of crude oil pollution .The largest oil spills that have ever occurred in stanbul Straits are from Independenta (70.000 tonnes oil spilled )in 1979,Blue star (1000 tonnes ammoniac spilled)in 1988,Jamburg(2.600 tonnes)in 1990,Nassia(9.000 tonnes oil spilled and 20.000 tonnes burned)in 1994,Volganeft-248(1200 tonnes oil spilled)in 1999,Gotia (22 tonnes) in 2002.A total of 75 people died during those accidents.

The spilled oil contaminates the habitats of a wide variety of organisms and will cause damage for as long as it remains there.Some chemical compounds in crude oils and refined oil products such as distillate and residual fuels are toxic.Oil can cause changes in the marine enviroment.Many marine organisms produce vast numbers of eggs and larvae which are released as plankton and widely distributed by currents.Cultivated stocks such as caged fish or shellfish are much more likely to be damaged.

The economic effects of oil spills are often more obvious that the enviromental or ecological effects.Tourism can be badly affected.


Companies and seafarers need to understand that even the most minor violations of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) will be detected by the authorities.In addition to large fines ,both company management and seafarers can be liable to criminal prosecution and imprisonment for any deliberate violation of MARPOL requirements.


Maritime accident in front of Dolmabahe Palace

Dolmabahe Palace

Liberia flagged tanker Genmar Star has started to drift because of hard rudder during her North-South passage in Istanbul Strait on February 21,2007 , and it is prevented to be run aground by anchoring in front of Dolmabahe.


Useful resources:


-International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation(ITOPF)

-NOAA office of Response&Restoration

-National Institute for Occupational Safety &Health

-Enviromental Protection Agency(EPA)

-The International Oil Spill Information Center

  • Incidents 2007
    • 6.18.2024
    • Top 5 News
    © Ms. Prof. Dr. Mükerrem Fatma İlkışık
    The content of this site is for information purposes.
    For making a final decision on their application, please refer to IMO publications or yourclassification societies.