|Oil pollution in and around the waters of Belgium|Schallier, R.; Van Roy, W. (2016). Oil pollution in and around the waters of Belgium, in: Carpenter, A. (Ed.) Oil pollution in the North Sea. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, 41: pp. 93-115. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/698_2014_330
In: Carpenter, A. (Ed.) (2016). Oil pollution in the North Sea. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, 41. Springer: Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-319-23900-2. xii, 312 pp., more
In: The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Springer: Heidelberg. ISSN 1867-979X, more
Aerial surveillance; Decrease in illegal oil discharges from ships; Ecological and socioeconomic importance; Key risk area; Oil pollution prevention; Preparedness and response; Shipping accidents; Southern North Sea; Waters of Belgium
Although the waters of Belgium only form a minor part of the North Sea, they contain some of the busiest shipping routes in the world with the Dover Strait and some of the biggest European ports in the immediate vicinity. It is therefore recognized as a key maritime risk area, also in terms of ship-source oil pollution. This chapter first discusses the significant, stepwise decrease of illegal oil discharges from ships in and around the waters of Belgium based on national aerial surveillance data since 1991 but also gives indications as to why the ecological quality objectives have not yet been met despite this decline. It further gives an overview of the accidental oil pollution incidents in this key risk area over the last 30 years and reflects on the high level of accidental marine pollution risk. Finally, the various measures are discussed that have been and will be undertaken in terms of oil pollution prevention, enforcement, preparedness and response with the aim to (further) reduce the oil pollution pressure in this environmentally sensitive area.