, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 170–178 | Cite as

Accidental Versus Operational Oil Spills from Shipping in the Baltic Sea: Risk Governance and Management Strategies

  • Björn Hassler


Marine governance of oil transportation is complex. Due to difficulties in effectively monitoring procedures on vessels en voyage, incentives to save costs by not following established regulations on issues such as cleaning of tanks, crew size, and safe navigation may be substantial. The issue of problem structure is placed in focus, that is, to what degree the specific characteristics and complexity of intentional versus accidental oil spill risks affect institutional responses. It is shown that whereas the risk of accidental oil spills primarily has been met by technical requirements on the vessels in combination with Port State control, attempts have been made to curb intentional pollution by for example increased surveillance and smart governance mechanisms such as the No-Special-Fee system. It is suggested that environmental safety could be improved by increased use of smart governance mechanisms tightly adapted to key actors’ incentives to alter behavior in preferable directions.


Baltic Sea Environmental hazard Marine governance Oil spill Oil transportation Risk 



Financial support from the Joint Baltic Sea Research Programme BONUS+, the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies and the Swedish Research Council Formas, is gratefully acknowledged. Two anonymous reviewers are also thanked for valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Life SciencesSödertörn UniversityHuddingeSweden

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