Entries by Tatianna Evanisko

Bilge Dumping at Sea: Why Should I Care?

Scientific research on the impact of oil pollution on marine life and coastal communities, combined with evidence of frequent bilge dumping, suggests oily bilge could be harming marine ecosystems and coastal economies.

Last year SkyTruth reported 163 accounts of likely bilge dumping across the world, from Brazil, to the Mediterranean, to Southeast Asia and elsewhere. As we described in our recent post,  bilge dumping is the illegal release of untreated oily wastewater from a vessel’s lower hull. This wastewater, or bilge, appears as an oil slick in the ocean, which eventually disperses and can migrate to vulnerable coastlines. 

A Systematic Search for Bilge Dumping at Sea: 2019 in Review

What can a year’s worth of bilge dumping data tell us?

This is the first entry in a multi-part series revealing the significance of bilge dumping globally. SkyTruth has observed bilge dumping incidents around the globe many times since 2007. But in 2019, we started seeking out these incidents more systematically. In total, we found 163 slicks around the globe.

Multiple Accounts of Oily Pollution Found in the Mediterranean Sea

SkyTruth recently discovered two oil slicks in the Mediterranean Sea — just the most recent examples of an ongoing bilge dumping problem we’ve found in one of the most heavily used marine water bodies in the world.

This year, SkyTruth discovered multiple likely bilge dumps in the Mediterranean Sea; two in just the past month. The Mediterranean Sea is a very prominent shipping route, but finding so many spills here is surprising, and concerning, considering how closely Europe monitors its waters.