In September 2005 the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2005/35/EC (since amended by Directive 2009/123/EC) on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties, including criminal penalties, for pollution offences. The Directive tasks EMSA to "work with the member states in developing technical solutions and providing technical assistance in actions such as tracing discharges by satellite monitoring and surveillance."
In early 2006, EMSA consulted industry and the national authorities of the EU member states and coastal EFTA states in order to collect information on existing operational surveillance resources and further requirements for oil pollution monitoring. EMSA also obtained considerable feedback from other relevant organisations, such as the European Space Agency, all of which was used as input for the development of the CleanSeaNet service, which became operational in April 2007.
CleanSeaNet is now the most comprehensive oil spill monitoring and vessel detection service in Europe, and supplies over 2 000 images a year to the 26 participating states.
In the three years following the entry into operations of the CleanSeaNet service in April 2007, EMSA provided satellite monitoring support during 11 incidents:
Don Pedro, Ibiza (Jul 07)
New Flame, Gibraltar (Aug 07)
Kerch Strait, Black Sea (Nov 07)
Statfjord Platform, Norway (Dec 07)
Ice Prince, Channel (Jan 08)
Fedra, Gibraltar (Oct 08)
Topaz A, Norway (Jan 09)
A. Kuznetsov, Ireland (Feb 09)
Strauss and Francia, France (Feb 10)
Kea, Spain (Mar 10)