TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP - News & Announcements

ISU: environmental benefit of salvage industry - 2023 Feb 25

Members of the International Salvage
Union (ISU) provided 186 services to
vessels carrying 2.6 million tonnes of
potentially polluting cargo and fuel
during operations in 2022.
It clearly shows the critical role of
professional salvors in protecting the
marine environment. The data come from
the results of the ISU's Annual Pollution
Prevention Survey for operations in 2022.
President of the ISU, Captain Nicholas
Sloane, said: "We are all now so much
more aware of, and careful about, the
environment. But we all need shipping and
incidents like the Suez Canal blockage
demonstrated that reliance. The shipping
and insurance industries recognise their
responsibilities and the importance of
maintaining their "licence to operate" and
the availability of emergency response
services is a critical part of meeting those
"The number of services fell last year
and each year there can be significant
variations of the quantities of pollutants in
each category. But, overall, the amount
of pollutants has stayed consistent. The
number of containers is lower than last
year but, after bulk cargo, still represents
the most significant category with our
members providing services to vessels
carrying 50,000 TEU amounting to some
747,270 tonnes of cargo. It compares with
141,000 tonnes of crude oil, confirming
the shift over the past decades as
oil trades have become safer. Boxes
stuffed with harmful and dangerous
goods including plastic pellets (nurdles)
represent one of the biggest threats to the
marine environment. They are potentially
very damaging and, with the added issue
of misdeclaration of contents, dangerous
to deal with."

Cargoes of refined oil products in 2022's
numbers were similar to crude oil at
144,808 tonnes. Chemical cargoes rose
to 79,319 tonnes in 2022. Bulk cargoes
increased significantly to 1,235,741 tonnes
in 2022 compared to 424,719 last time.
This category includes products such as
coal, scrap steel, grains, soya and cement.
A number of bulk cargoes are not included
as potential pollutants and ISU members
also provided services to bulkers carrying
113,926 tonnes of non-hazardous dry bulk
– mainly metal ores.
11 cases had more than 2000 tonnes of
bunkers on board and the total of bunkers
involved was 108,112 tonnes. A number
of the services noted in the survey did
not record the quantity of bunkers or the
cargo-type meaning the reported totals
likely represent a more modest total than
the reality.
ISU is transparent about the fact that
not all these potential pollutants were
at immediate risk of going into the sea.
Some cases will have had limited danger,
but others will have carried a real risk
of causing substantial environmental
damage. In an era of "zero tolerance"
of any pollution, even the smaller cases
represent a significant concern.
The 186 services in 2022 included 12
wreck removal/marine services contracts;
16 Lloyd's Open Forms; 38 towage
contracts; 4 Japanese Forms; 4 Lump
Sum and 5 Day Rate 5 contracts; 84 other
contracts (including commercial terms
and common law salvage) and 23 Turkish
The survey was first conducted by ISU in
1994 and the methodology was updated
in 2014 to include a wider range of
potential pollutants including containers
and hazardous and dirty bulk cargoes.
In the period 1994 to end-2022, ISU
members have provided services to
casualty vessels carrying 41,478,058
tonnes of potential pollutants, an average
of 1.4 million tonnes per year.