Use double hulls to prevent oil spills
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Oil spills can be disastrous to marine life, including subtidal benthic invertebrates (White et al. 2012). Double hulls, where the bottom and sides of ships have two layers of watertight surfaces, can be used to prevent oil spills and have been required in some countries since the 1990s (Alcock 1992). Double hulls can reduce vessel damage to tankers when involved in accidents, and their use has been shown to significantly reduce the number of oil spills (Glen 2010; Yip et al. 2011). Using double hulls may potentially reduce the risks to subtidal benthic invertebrates from pollution following accidental oil spills.
Evidence for other interventions related to oil pollution are summarised under “Threat: Pollution – Remove or clean-up oil pollution following a spill”.
Alcock T.M. (1992) Ecology tankers and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990: A history of efforts to require double hulls on oil tankers. Ecology Law Quaterly. 19, 97.
Glen D. (2010) Modelling the impact of double hull technology on oil spill numbers. Maritime Policy & Management, 37, 475–487.
Yip T.L., Talley W.K. & Jin D. (2011) The effectiveness of double hulls in reducing vessel-accident oil spillage. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 62, 2427–2432.
White H.K., Hsing P.Y., Cho W., Shank T.M., Cordes E.E., Quattrini A.M., Nelson R.K., Camilli R., Demopoulos A.W., German C.R. & Brooks J.M. (2012) Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep-water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 20303–20308.