Shipping is the least environmentally damaging form of commercial transport and, compared with land based industry, is a comparatively minor contributor to marine pollution from human activities.
There has been a substantial reduction in marine pollution over the last 15 years, especially with regard to the amount of oil spilled into the sea, despite a massive increase in world seaborne trade.
Reduction in the Quantity of Spilled Oil
The amount of oil spilled by ships varies from year to year and figures for a particular year can be distorted by a single large incident. However, in general terms, shipping has shown a marked downward trend in the amount of oil spilled each year.