How many oil spills does CleanSeaNet detect per year?
Even very thin oil films, some measuring just micrometres, can be visible from space. Nevertheless, it is important to note that CleanSeaNet does not detect "oil spills" but "possible oil spills". This is due to the fact that satellite images cannot provide information on the nature of a spill (mineral oil, fish or vegetable oil, or other look-alikes). Discrimination between oil spills and
look-alikes require more information and most often on site verification.
In 2013, of the 2,547 satellite images delivered, a total of 2,176 possible oil spills were detected (1,096 Class A high confidence of detection spills and 1,080 Class B low confidence of detection spills). This translates to an average of 3.89 possible spills have been detected per million km2 (1,000 km x 1,000 km) monitored by satellite images.
The average number of oil spills detected per 1000 km2 monitored by CleanSeaNet annually has shown a general reduction over time from an average of 10.77 spill detections per 1000 km2 monitored in 2008 to an average of 3.89 spill detections per 1000 km2 monitored in 2013.