Tracking Maritime Pollution Events

Marine pollution occurs in many forms, some accidental, some because of environmental disasters, and sometimes on purpose.  Major oil spills can have devastating effects as the components of crude oil are toxic to marine life, are very difficult to clean up, and can last for years in the sediment and marine environment. Ballast water taken up at sea and released in port is a major source of introducing unwanted exotic marine life into areas where they previously did not exist. Invasive species can take over these new areas facilitating the spread of new diseases, introducing new genetic material, altering underwater seascapes and jeopardizing the ability of native species to obtain food. Finally, there are sadly times when vessels intentionally discharge illegal wastes despite foreign and domestic regulations prohibiting such actions.

Pollution results in billions of dollars of damage to the maritime environment annually and it is incumbent that national and regional authorities maintain a grasp on which ships and companies are involved.  GreenLine Systems’ Vessel Selection System application, VSS, allows agencies to identify ships and companies with previous pollution events and also to track vessels to monitor the types of invasive species they may come in contact with along their route.

In this example an analyst looks at all vessels tracked via terrestrial and satellite AIS in the past 24-hours finding that there is a total of 72, 435 vessels.  Trying to discover which of these vessels has been involved in a pollution event within the past year may seem a daunting task, but, GreenLine’s VSS will quickly sort through all these vessels and provide a list of polluters.

 

 Next we set up an analyst defined query with constraints that are looking at all vessels within a 24-hour period and have had a pollution event within the past year.

 

Results are returned showing that 12 vessels meet these constraints.

 

Details of the event can be found on the vessel casualty page.

 

By using the “user defined queries” capability within GreenLine’s VSS risk management application, data is pushed to analysts not requiring them to search for it, freeing the analyst to look at other maritime awareness issues.