Protecting the marine environment
Concern for the environment is rightly at the heart of all modern salvage operations. Almost all marine casualties, regardless of their cargo, represent a potential threat to the environment. Time and again the skill, commitment and equipment of the members of the ISU have prevented disaster and minimised environmental damage. In most cases there is no state provision of salvage and environmental protection services. It is only commercial salvors who stand between a shipping casualty and an environmental catastrophe.
Marine salvage is carried out on a commercial basis and the legal framework under which it is conducted has evolved over centuries. The amount awarded to a salvor by arbitration, or agreed by negotiation, is based upon the nature of the salvage services and, amongst other matters, the salved value of the vessel and its cargo. These matters are governed by the International Convention on Salvage of 1989. Whilst the Convention does take account of the salvor’s efforts to protect avoid or minimise damage to the environment the International Salvage Union believes its members are not always fairly rewarded for their efforts and successes in avoiding or minimising damage to the environment. That is because some casualties which threaten the environment are of low financial value.
To read more about the legal framework and Salvage Convention click here