Marine Environment and Coastal Sea Pollution by Oil Spillage – A European Lesson

Published in Korea Legislation Research Institute Journal, April – May 2008, Pp 65-98.

By Sethu Nandakumar Menon


Eighty percent of the earth’s life lives in ocean and ninety percent of the world shipping transports through ocean. Read together, they demonstrate the need and importance of having a good synergy between ocean environment and shipping. One of the major environmental risks posed is the oil spillage in sea. In Europe two billion tonnes of fret are loaded and unloaded every year and one billion tonnes of oil pass through the EU port and EU waters. The paper scrutinize how the concept of ‘environment’ is envisaged in the European Community Law. The paper also study on two of the major oil spillage accidents in Europe, which paved way for changes in the way marine environment and maritime transport safety is viewed by the European Union States. Along with the case studies, the evolution of the maritime transport safety in Europe and its effect on securing a safer coastal and maritime environment is also discussed in the paper.