Number of oil spills reduced by 50% in six years

Long-term progress:
The number of intentional oil spills has reduced remarkably over the decades. Previously, bilge water and other oil-containing wastewater were carelessly dumped into the sea.
Short-term progress:
The number of oil spills has decreased particularly rapidly since the entry into force of a new Act in 2006 that enables faster imposition of oil pollution payments. 2014 the nember of oil spills increased to the leven of 2009.
Progress in relation to targets:
HELCOM has set the goal of completely eliminating oil spills in the Baltic Sea by the year 2021. There is a long way to go before this goal can be achieved.

Number of oil spills detected by Finland in 2007–2014

Number of oil spills detected by Finland

Source: SYKE. 2015.

Control and legislation prevent spills

The number of oil spills detected at sea by the Finnish authorities has reduced by nearly 40% in seven years. In 2014, only 68 oil spills were recorded, while in 2007, there were over a hundred.

Oil spills have been prevented by efficient surveillance flight operations and a new law, which entered into force in 2006, enabling faster imposition of an oil pollution payment. In 2012, the Finnish Border Guard initiated the investigation of only two oil pollution payment incidents, while in 2007, the corresponding figure was 13.

Large archipelagos and intricate coastlines make the coasts of the Baltic Sea particularly vulnerable to oil spills. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM aims to completely eliminate oil spills in the Baltic Sea by 2021.


  • SYKE. 2015.
Published 2015-08-19 at 14:33, updated 2016-07-22 at 14:56