A common practice along shipping routes, illegal oil discharge represents an insidious and constant pollution, quantitatively more important than oil spills, but much less spectacular: 1 million tons of oil are spilled annually, 6 times more than oil disasters.

As oil spills, the illegal discharge of oil requires rapid response to avoid massive pollution and mitigate dramatic impacts on marine environments.

A proven solution to detect and monitor oil pollution at sea

CLS can help to access and understand mission relevant information enabling time critical decision-making with an unquestioned level of security and reliability.

We detect and identify oil slicks, calculate their drifts and potential polluters for immediate response, monitoring and support contingencies.

Relying on main radar satellite constellations and RPAS capabilities, CLS delivers in-depth analysis based on SAR imagery and in-situ drone data, empowering decision makers with actionable insights to conduct operational response.

pollution measurements

What are the results?

In 10 years, the number of oil spills in European waters has been halved thanks to the European cooperation of the Cleanseanet service set up by EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) and provided by CLS.

More information on CLS capabilities for oil spill monitoring

Oil spills at sea always rhyme with lasting damage to humans, the environment and marine ecosystems, as sadly illustrated by the Grande America shipwreck. The ocean is a fragile territory to be protected. Have a look to our other case studies or news for more information:

CLS: your daily partner for Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Intelligence

For more than 30 years, CLS has been working hand in hand with maritime authorities worldwide, for safer and more peaceful seas.

Oil Spill in California: What can we see from Space?

The southern California beaches were affected by a massive oil spill. CLS analysed the area using the EU Copernicus EO satellite Sentinel 1-B.

Oil Spills: When every minute counts

CLS helps locating oil spill enabling time critical decision making with an unquestioned level of security and reliability.

Fighting pollution at sea: Each year, more than 15,000 images are analyzed by CLS’s experts

Solutions exist to combat pollution at sea, and it is from space, thanks to the satellites and drones that CLS deploys as a complement.

CLS analysts investigate oil spill off Corsica from space

An oil spill has been detected at sea near Corsica, France, visible on satellite radar images, CLS is investigating.

Hydrocarbon Pollution Alert in Mauritius

Pollution alert in Mauritius following the sinking of the MV Wakashio, who was carrying 200 tonnes of diesel and 3 800 tonnes of heavy oil.

The Sinking of the Erika, 20 Years Later – “The authorities were almost blind… today they can see everything”

December 12th, 1999, the oil tanker Erika sanked off the coast of Brittany. Since, what has changed in the fight against maritime pollution?

Grande America Oil Spill in France: What did we see from space?

On 12 March last, the Grande America sank in the Bay of Biscay. Thanks to its VIGISAT station, CLS had the necessary to monitor the incident.

France well coordinated to efficiently support fight against pollution at sea

CLS together with the Cluster Maritime Français, organized on March 21st, a presentation of the space-based technologies to fight effectively against the maritime pollutions.

40 years after the sinking of the Amoco Cadiz

40 years ago, facing the municipality of Portsall, the supertanker Amoco Cadiz, releases 220000 tons of crude oil.

Which technologies for the fight against marine pollution?

CLS organizes with the Cluster Maritime Français a breakfast of exchanges on the stakes and the contributions of the space-based technologies to fight effectively against the maritime pollutions.