This paper examines the trends in costs associated with the various low technology shoreline cleanup methods that were used in the response to the Sea Empress incident, by drawing on information gathered during the response and the subsequent claims for compensation from the local government councils involved. Analysis of the costs allowed the level of effort invested in shoreline cleaning to be quantified and re-enforced the view that the return on effort invested decreases progressively as the level of oiling reduces. The trends also reflect occasions where additional effort had to be expended at a later stage in the cleanup as a consequence of problems generated by some techniques used earlier in the response.

The views here expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the individual directors and members of ITOPF.

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