Oil and other pollutants are occasionally spilt at sea. This may put environmental resources, property and human life at risk. With our strong maritime tradition, important marine habitats and busy shipping lanes, the UK is also a global leader in responding to marine pollution incidents, and has well tested systems in place to best deal with marine pollution.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency lead the response to marine pollution incidents, but we provide environmental advice to incident command through the environment group and work closely to with devolved administrations to regulate the use of oil spill treatment products in UK waters.
Our role in marine pollution
In general we:
- administer the UK approval of oil spill treatment products
- maintain our Marine Pollution Contingency Plan
- act as a consultee for other contingency plans (MCA's National Contingency Plan, port and harbour contingency plans and offshore installation contingency plans).
In a marine pollution incident we:
- regulate the approval to use oil spill treatment products in English and Welsh waters
- are members of the incident environment group
- where applicable, enforce the Environmental Damage Regulations 2009 for damage to protected marine species and habitats in English waters
- inform Defra, who will brief ministers, on the progress of the incident.
See incidents to get an idea of the kind of marine pollution incidents we deal with.
For marine pollution incidents please call:
Within office hours
0870 785 1050
Outside office hours
07770 977 825
At all times if other numbers out of order
0845 051 8486
Marine Pollution Response Team
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 376 2511
Fax: 0191 376 2682