At ISCO’s 2010 Annual General Meeting, held in London last week, Mr Li Guobin (Member of ISCO Council representing China) and Mr Simon Rickaby (Representative of Corporate Member Braemar Howells Ltd.) were elected to the Executive Committee of ISCO.


Upon his election to the Committee, Mr Li Guobin spoke in support of ISCO’s work and its relevance in China at a time when new legislation is giving added impetus to the raising of professional standards in spill response. He looks forward to making a significant contribution to the work of the organisation and to building ISCO membership in China. Due to injuries sustained while overseas, Mr Simon Rickaby was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting. All present expressed their sympathy and wished him a speedy recovery.


On completion of the business part of the meeting, the ongoing response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was discussed at length. Mr David Usher, in his capacity as President of ISCO, has been greatly in demand by CNN, NBC and other media networks as an expert commentator. There has also been an excellent international response from members and others offering technical and other support to members of the Unified Command team.


For the very first time at an ISCO meeting, use was made of an audio link to enable members in other countries to join in the meeting via the internet.


Minutes of the meeting will be circulated to members in the near future.



The ISCO Secretary has just received a note from Torbjorn. Following on a stroke he has had to slow down his work but very much appreciates the ISCO Newsletter. He writes “You know I have worked with oil spills since I was 16 years old. I am now 61 years so it’s a fairly long time”. He is very interested in what’s going on and says “it’s a great pleasure to feel the contact with the “spill world”.

I am sure that I can speak for Torbjorn’s many friends in the spill response community in passing on our very best wishes.



ISCO is pleased to introduce and welcome the following new members who have recently joined the organisation.


• Resolve Marine Group Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA (Corporate Member)


• Jude Egwuonwu of Manchester, UK (Individual Member)


• Kevin Waterman of Bulimba, Queensland, Australia (Individual Member)


• Ayles Fernie International Ltd. of Sevenoaks, Kent, UK (Corporate Member)


• Vikoma International Ltd. of Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK (Corporate Member)


• Roberto Giannini of São Paulo, Brazil, (Individual Member)


• Alex Cobra of São Paulo, Brazil, (Individual Member)


• Arkadiusz Talaska of São Paulo, Brazil, (Individual Member)


• Dante Neto of São Paulo, Brazil, (Individual Member)


• Mario Izidoro of São Paulo, Brazil (Individual Member)



ISCO Members should please note that ISCO's 2010 AGM will be held in London on 4th May, 2010. Depending on the number of members advising their intention to attend, the meeting will be held at either the IMO HQ at Albert Embankment or at the Naval Club in Hill Street, Mayfair.


The Agenda and other meeting papers are under preparation and will be sent out to Members in the near future.



The tenth meeting of the IMO MEPC OPRC-HNS Technical Group (TG10) concluded on Friday 19th March, 2010. Work on the Publication checklist for new IMO manuals, guidance documents and training materials was completed ready for submission to MEPC 60. After final editing the Manual on Incident Command Systems (ICS) is planned for submission at MEPC 61. The Group progressed work on a broad range of other oil and HNS projects.


Technical discussions were leavened by a number of special presentations. One by the delegation of the United States on the Exxon Valdez incident, included the video produced by NOAA, and reviewed the response efforts by those who were directly involved. The observer from IMarEST gave an illustrated talk on the MV Newcastle incident, involving ferrous sulphate, a dry bulk cargo, which had fluidised and shifted whilst in transit, resulting in the production and leaching of sulphuric acid liquor within the vessel compartment.  The representative from Norway described the Full City incident, an oil spill that occurred off the coast of Norway in July 2009, involving the loss of 1113 m3 of oil.  The delegation of Sweden shared its experience in responding to the Linda incident, which involved the loss of four freight containers, three containing HNS, and the delegation of Australia gave an overview of the Montara incident which resulted in the loss of some 6.6 million litres of oil over a period of 108 days, until the well was finally capped.


ISCO presented a paper on the independent training and accreditation of private oil and HNS response contractors to the requirements of shoreline cleaning and it was noted that, in association with ISCO, a working group has been established by ISAA. It was agreed that ISCO will submit a further technical paper to TG 11. Going forwards, ISCO agreed to continue, alongside other delegations, with efforts to collate experience and lessons learned in response to marine HNS incidents and in dealing with sub-sea oil recovery.



TG10, the tenth meeting of the IMO OPRC-HNS Technical Group takes place over the week of Monday 15th March to Friday 19th March, 2010 at IMO Headquarters in London. The ISCO delegation will include David Usher (ISCO President), John McMurtrie (ISCO Secretary), Rear Admiral M. L. Stacey (Member of ISCO Executive Committee) and Dr Douglas Cormack (Honorary Member of ISCO).



Since we last gave you news on new members of ISCO, we are now pleased to introduce and welcome the following new members


• CI Agent Solutions of Louisville, Kentucky, USA (Corporate Member)

• Hidroclean Serviços Marítimos of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Corporate Member)

• Spill Tech Pty. Ltd. of Queensland, Australia (Corporate Member)

• Mr Neil Marson, Cleveland, UK (Individual Member)

• Dr Shahriar Ameri of Amirkabir University, Tehran, Iran (Individual Member)


It’s a long time since representatives of the American, British, French and Swedish spill control associations (SCAA, BOSCA, SYCOPOL and SWEMARPOL) first met in 1983 at San Antonio to discuss the formation of ISCO.  The organisation was incorporated in London the following year as a not-for-profit international organisation with clearly defined objectives which included promotion of international co-operation and practical support for OPRC and other relevant IMO conventions. Further meetings took place over the following years at various locations including Aberdeen, London,

Tampa, Valetta, and Long Beach. Practical outcomes included positive contributions to international co-operation during the Exxon Valdez spill (1989) and Gulf War pollution (1991).

In those days, ISCO membership was restricted to Trade Associations representing private sector companies. This was later seen as incompatible with the recognition that the fulfilment of ISCO’s objectives depended on involvement of both public and private sectors working together in a co-operative way. These considerations led in 2005 to the re-launch of ISCO with an amended constitution. Membership of ISCO was opened up to all entities, public and private, with a legitimate interest in furthering the objectives of the organisation. Another positive impact was that the cost of joining ISCO became more affordable, with especially low fees for smaller companies, government and academic organisations, individuals and students.

Today, ISCO is recognised as the only global organisation that is dedicated to members of the broader international spill response community.


Currently, ISCO has members in thirty-three countries and is continuing to grow. Through its meetings, website, and newsletter the organisation provides significant benefits to its members. In addition to being part of a worldwide community of professionals that share a common interest, members are kept up to date on events, developing technologies, legislation, new trends and directions, and other items of mutual interest. They are alerted to opportunities for providing new products and services necessary for implementing legislation and meeting new challenges. ISCO promotes international co-operation and, through its network of members, assists governments and others by providing a rapid route for accessing and mobilising international support in any major pollution event. Most importantly, ISCO is a source of practical help in building response capacity and enhancing professional competency.




Response contractors and others that can contribute information to assist the OPRC-HNS Working Group can now download the information gathering templates. Simply go to the ISCO website at and select DOWNLOADS from the menu on the left hand side of the page.  Your contribution will be acknowledged and it’s an opportunity for you to raise your profile. We need to know who out there has the know-how and experience. Don’t hide your light under a bushel ! 


As previously reported in the ISCO Newsletter, ISCO is continuing to collate information on Marine HNS incident response and Subsea Oil Recovery as part of its contribution to the work of the IMO OPRC-HNS Technical Group. Rather than simply collecting statistical data, ISCO is focusing on the techniques used, problems encountered and lessons learned – information that will be of practical value in developing quality technical manuals.

Now ISCO has developed new report templates that will help to collate the information in a standard format. Incident responders who can contribute to the knowledge base are invited to contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ISCO also wants to hear from manufacturers, research establishments and consultants who are developing new technologies and equipment with application in HNS incident response or subsea oil recovery.



On behalf of ISCO, Jeff Taylor from Corporate Member, Marine Pollution Control Inc. will be hosting an informal “Meet and Greet” gathering at Clean Pacific at 5 p.m. on Tuesday 15th September at the Oregon Conference Center.

It’s an opportunity for ISCO Members and others who are interested to meet up with each other. Refreshments and a snack will be provided.  We’ll look forward to seeing you.



At the IMO OPRC-HNS TG8 meeting held in London over 29th September to 3rd October, 2008, ISCO joined with other delegations in agreeing to support the Secretariat in collating information on response to HNS incidents in order to address data gaps that exist and to submit information to the future meetings of the Technical Group.

At TG9 in July 2009, ISCO was asked to continue this work as an ongoing project.


Information collected so far includes case histories of responses to incidents involving toxic sludge, MTBE, Naphtha, Sulphuric Acid and Freon (a CFC compound).


It is the international spill response community that has hands-on experience in dealing with HNS incidents – solving the problems and developing techniques that work - experience that will eventually be used in developing response guidance manuals.


ISCO wants to hear from its members and others that can make a contribution to our collective effort. We want to hear not only from contractors but also from manufacturers and researchers who are developing new equipment and technology for HNS incident response. 


ISCO representative at MEPC, Dr Douglas Cormack presented his paper “Independent Training and Accreditation of Private Oil and HNS Spill Response Contractors” to the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee at its 59th Session. The Committee approved this paper for passage to the Technical Group for its next Session. He will now follow through with a graded assessment of Oil and HNS problems and their respective responses, as an Information Paper direct to the OPRC-HNS Technical Group, so that both papers can be discussed on this next occasion.


The 9th meeting of the OPRC-HNS Technical Group (TG9) which ended 10th July was attended by delegations from 23 countries and 10 other organizations. Over the five days of the TG9 meeting delegates addressed a wide agenda of marine oil and HNS pollution related issues and agreed a report that will be submitted to the Marine Pollution Environment Committee (MEPC) this week. TG9 Chairman, Mr Nick Quinn (New Zealand) and Vice-Chairman, Mr Suh Woo Rack (Republic of Korea) were re-elected for the coming year.


ISCO’s efforts in collating information relating to the response to HNS incidents and to sub-sea oil recovery operations were acknowledged in the meeting report and the ISCO delegation has been asked to continue this work.

At this week’s MEPC meeting ISCO will be represented by Dr Douglas Cormack who will present a paper on "The Independent Training and Accreditation of Private Oil and HNS Spill Response Contractors".


Since we last gave you news on new members of ISCO, we are now pleased to introduce and welcome the following new members –


· Captain Thejo Sadhu Prakash of GSS Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, India.


· SpillGo Ltd., Co Wicklow, Ireland.


· Evolution Sorbent Products, Chicago, USA.


· UK Spill Ltd., the UK’s Spill Response Industry Trade Association.


· Mr Mauricio Padilha of Alpina Briggs Defesa Ambiental S/A


· Seacor Environmental Services Middle East Ltd.


· Mr Marco Formicola of Alpina Ambiental S.A., Brazil.


· Mr Colin Mackay of Envirocol, Glasgow, UK.


· T & T Environmental Technology, Ankara, Turkey.


· Tulip Environmental Services, Istanbul, Turkey.


· Mr Erik Halbert of Boston Strategies International, USA

· Mrs Melinda Pascale of Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, Finland


ISCO President, David Usher, will represent ISCO at the IMO Council Meeting (29th June – 3rd July, 2009).


David Usher will also attend the OPRC-HNS Technical Group Meeting (TG9) over July 6-10, together with ISCO Secretary, John McMurtrie, ISCO Member of Council for the UK, Kevin Miller and Honorary Member of ISCO, Dr Douglas Cormack. ISCO has submitted an information paper to TG9, reporting on ISCO’s work to collate information on HNS incident response and sub-sea oil recovery experience.

Dr Cormack will be presenting an information paper at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) Meeting (July 13-17). His paper is on the Independent Training and Accreditation of Private Oil and HNS Spill Response Contractors.


The joint working group established by the International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA) in collaboration with the International Spill Control Organization (ISCO) has now been working as a correspondence group for nearly six months on the work of developing spill response accreditation criteria for assessing spill response organizations (SROs) involved in response to onshore chemical spills and marine HNS incidents.

The task is not an easy one and it is anticipated that the minimum accreditations standards for different categories of chemical / HNS responders (public and private) will be introduced in stages.


The Working Group includes internationally respected experts from USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands:


•Dr Merv Fingas, who has more than 25 years of spill response experience with Environment Canada where he was head of the Emergencies Science Division. He was appointed to the United States Academy of Sciences and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Hazardous Materials. Publications include The Handbook of Hazardous Materials Spills Technology and Survey of Chemical Spills Countermeasures.


•Mr Kevin Miller, who, as Managing Director of HazmatLINK works with industry, emergency services and governments, providing advice and consultancy on planning and managing incidents involving hazardous materials. Prior to this he managed the United Kingdom’s National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC). In this role he was responsible for ensuring a rapid and professional response to over 1500 incidents per year. He was a member of the Department for Transport working group that developed the code of practice for security of dangerous goods transported by road and rail, assisted in the development of the European Emergency Response Intervention Cards (ERICards), and peer reviewed the CDC/NIOSH’s emergency response safety and health database.


•Dr. Manik Sardessai, Vice President of Technical and Environmental Affairs and Director of Training of Detroit, Michigan, USA based Marine Pollution Control (MPC) Corporation, responsible for developing both in-house and client training programs, including 40, 24, and 8 Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HazWoper, CFR 1910.120) courses, DOT, Incident Command Systems (ICS), and Chemistry classes. As a Faculty, he has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses at Wayne State University, U.S.A. and University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Since 2002, he has been a member of Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) (USCG, USA).


•Dr Wierd Koops is Professor in Maritime, Marine, Environmental and Safety Management at the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz. He also is an independent consultant and manager of Accidental Spill Control Consultancy vof with specific expertise on accidental or deliberate marine pollution. He has more than 30 years of professional experience in oil and chemical spill response. He is an experienced project manager, with extensive international experience in all the aspects of emergency management: prevention, preparation, response and evaluation. He has broad experience in international projects (Helcom, Bonn Agreement, Barcelona Convention, IMO and EU).


•Mr Nick Bailey joined DV Howells in 2003 as a chemicals expert with many years international incident response experience. He also sees to it that the Chemical / HNS spill response units are maintained with the most appropriate and up to date equipment.

Nick’s track record of managing chemical response scenarios is impressive. Aside from dealing with a wide range of incidents, he is also heavily involved with chemical, biological and hazardous incident response services worldwide.

•Mr Bill Atkinson is Head of Emergency Response at the National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC), AEA Technology. He is responsible for a team of experts providing chemical emergency response advice worldwide to emergency services, chemical industry and the transport sector

Development of the new standards will extend the existing ISAA accreditation disciplines that are focused on oil pollution and include freshwater spills, shoreline clean-up, marine spills, groundwater pollution, on-land spills and road/rail tanker incidents


At ISCO’s AGM held at Interspill in Marseille last week Mr Guobin Li of Sunic-Ocean Marine Technical and Service Co. Ltd. was elected as ISCO Member of Council for China (mainland). In representing China on the IMO Council he joins Capt. Davy T.S. Lau who has represented China (Hong Kong) on the ISCO Council since January, 2006.

At the ISCO AGM, the Guest Speaker was Kurt A. Hansen, P.E., of the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center, who gave a presentation on the work of the R&D Center. ISCO President, David Usher, followed with a description of his involvement in a bird rescue and rehabilitation operation following on a recent diesel spill at Troy, Michigan. By invitation from the floor, Rosalie e’Silva of ISCO Associate Member, The Sea Alarm Foundation, gave Members and Guests an impromptu account of the Foundation’s work and its relationship with other wildlife rescue organisations.  Members who would like to have copies of any of these presentations should contact the Secretary of ISCO.

ISCO AGM 2009 UPDATE (4th May, 2009)

The Guest Speaker at the ISCO AGM will be Kurt A. Hansen P.E. from the US Coast Guard R&D Center.


ISCO is honoured to have such a distinguished guest speaker. It is hoped that as many members as possible will attend. Members are requested to advise others that interested non-members are also welcome to come to the meeting.


All Members of ISCO should have received the AGM Meeting Agenda, other Meeting Papers and Form of Proxy. Any Member who has not received these documents should contact the Secretary ASAP.  



Dear Member of ISCO,


Time just seems to fly past and I just realised that it is less than 11 weeks before our next AGM in Marseille at Interspill. For your diary, the AGM will be on Wednesday 13th May at 1500 hrs. in the Salle Ratonneau, which is on the 3rd floor of the Parc Chanot venue. I shall send out the Agenda and other papers as soon as I can.


Since I last wrote to you at the end of 2008 ISCO has welcomed the following new members –


UK Spill Association (the successor to BOSCA)

Mauricio Padilha (Individual Member, Brazil)

Seacor Environmental Services Middle East Ltd. (Abu Dhabi)

Marco Formicola (Individual Member, Brazil)


At the 8th Meeting of the IMO OPRC-HNS Technical Group, ISCO agreed to assist IMO in collating members’ experiences in dealing with sub-sea oil recovery. The information is needed to help in the development of IMO Technical Guidelines on Sunken Oil Assessment and Removal Techniques.

ISCO also agreed to assist in an IMO initiative to gather information about experience gained and lessons learned in regard to response to Marine HNS Incident Response – both actual incidents and near-misses. Rear Admiral Stacey is collating information received from members and, as a reminder, I have attached his letter sent to you last November.


The response to appeals for information has not been good and I’m becoming very concerned.


The next meeting of the Technical Group is on July 6-10 and the deadline for submission of documents is in the second week of May.


ISCO worked hard to gain Consultative Status at IMO and in order to maintain this privilege we do need to make a positive contribution. I know you’re busy people and I know that some of may find it difficult to write reports – please don’t worry – I shall be happy to edit as necessary. I urge you to send an email. In addition to helping ISCO you will be doing yourself a favour – your contribution will figure in subsequent reports and publications. Governments and other entities will be informed on who has the relevant knowledge and experience.


Kind regards







ISCO is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Anne Dalgleish as Membership Secretary. In this capacity Mary Anne will be helping ISCO build its international membership, also taking care of membership records and the invoicing of membership renewals.


Currently, ISCO has members in 33 countries. Membership of ISCO open to all professionals, companies and organisations involved in Spill Control and related disciplines.  ISCO's mission is to raise worldwide preparedness and co-operation in response to oil and chemical spills, to promote technical development and professional competency, and to provide a focus for making the knowledge and experience of spill control professionals available to IMO, UNEP and other organizations. You are invited to apply for membership.



ISCO is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Dan Silberman as Website Events Pages Secretary. Dan is already working to update the current listings of forthcoming conferences, exhibitions, and scheduled training courses for Oil and Chemical Spill Response, and for Homeland Defence / CBRN Incident Response. There is some catch-up work to get these pages fully up-to-date again but good progress is being made. Events organisers and providers of scheduled training courses can now send information for uploading on the site to Dan directly atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


24th November, 2008


Dear Member of ISCO,


Please find below a letter to you from Rear Admiral Michael L. Stacey, CB.


Michael has kindly undertaken to take on the work of collating information for the project ISCO is undertaking for IMO. I would be very grateful for your co-operation and support in this matter. All submissions will be acknowledged in the report which will be circulated to the many governmental and other delegations who are represented in the OPRC-HNS Technical Group.


Kind regards





Dear Colleague


You will be aware that last autumn ISCO was granted NGO status at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). This is a privilege to which we in ISCO had long aspired and which we are extremely keen to retain. Our status is due for permanent review after the first two years, i.e. the autumn of 2009 and we are keen that by then we will have made sufficient impact on the organisation to ensure our  retention as an established NGO

We have already identified several areas of influence that we can exploit, but I believe that there is probably more that we could do through our membership of the OPRC HNS Technical Group. There is already separate work being done on the rationalisation of relevant IMO manuals and guidelines, but I believe that through our membership we could provide a unique complementary and useful record of live experiences based on our personal participation in HNS spill clean-up operations.


I am prepared to compile such a list with your help. Whilst imposing on you as little as possible could I ask you to send me details of any such involvement you, or your Company, might have been involved in over recent years. It would seem that the easiest way to do this would be for you to send a report to me by e-mail-no longer than a couple of pages and in accordance with a format, which I could build into a list of involvements and experiences. My-mail address is michael.stacey@onetel,.com 



Perhaps the following lay-out would help keep us all on the same line




Company name


Location of incident


Brief description of incident


Response to include, response levels, need for external support, Government involvement, use of sub-contractors, accreditation requirements etc.

Cost of operations - compensation?


Lasting environmental effects


Lessons learnt - prevention of repetition,.




   In anticipation I thank you for your cooperation

                             With best wishes

                              Michael L Stacey

                              Member Executive Committee


Michael Stacey

Phone: 01252 713032

6 Headon Court

The Close

Tilford Road

Farnham GU9 8DR



Dear Member of ISCO,


Since I last wrote, the following have been welcomed as new members of ISCO -


* Hamdan Al-Ghamdi (General Manager, Environmental Protection, Saudi Arabia)

* Sesmeke Environmental Services (Corporate Member, Turkey)

* Captain Thejo Sadhu Prakash (Individual Member, India)

* SpillGo Ltd. (Corporate Member, Ireland)

* Evolution Sorbent Products (Corporate Member, USA)


As reported in the ISCO Newsletter, an ISCO delegation attended the 8th meeting of the IMO OPRC-HNS Technical Group in London last week. Outcomes include -


1. ISCO is contributing to a working group to gather information needed for the development of IMO Technical Guidelines on Sunken Oil Assessment and Removal Techniques. The workscope involves the recovery of not only negative buoyancy oil from the seabed but also the recovery of oil from sunken vessels. Will ISCO members who have been involved in such operations please drop me a line and I shall write to you separately on this matter.


2. ISCO has also agreed to assist in an IMO initiative to gather information about experience gained and lessons learned in regard to response to Marine HNS Incident Response - both actual incidents and near-misses. Will ISCO members who have been involved in such operations please drop me a line and I shall write to you separately on this matter.


3. In association with our sister organisation - The International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA) - ISCO is to submit a paper to the next IMO OPRC-HNS TG meeting on the training and accreditation of inland responders to help answer the shortage of qualified people available to manage large numbers of volunteers and other inexperienced personnel in shoreline clean-up operations.

Looking particularly at (1) and (2) above, this is an opportunity for involved companies and consultants to raise their profiles at IMO as I'm sure that contributions will figure in subsequent reports and publications. Governments and other entities will be informed on who has the relevant knowledge and experience.


All of the above initiatives help to raise the profile of ISCO and reinforce the value of the organization as a point of contact for sourcing needed expertise and products in future emergencies.


On a related point, through the Newsletter and New Technology website pages, ISCO can help you to tell the world about new techniques and products. It is part of our remit to do this and you can benefit.


The ISCO website is based on a software programme called Joomla and I'm still very much on a learning curve. If any of you (or any member of your staff) is willing to help with uploading documents on the website, I would be extremely pleased to hear from you.

Finally, a few reminders ...


* Some members have not yet registered on the website. You need to do this in order to access the Members' Area.

* Corporate members can place free advertisements in the Supplies & Services Section of the Public Area of the ISCO website. Contact the Secretary for details.

* IMO is looking to ISCO for qualified individuals to support its Technical Co-operation Programme, helping third world countries to implement OPRC and other conventions. Day rate, travel and subsistence costs are payable to selected candidates. For more info, contact ISCO Secretary.

* We would like to include a few words about yourself (or your company if you're a Corporate Member) under your name in the list of ISCO members. This is by way of an introduction to help members to get to know each other. If you wish, you can include your Email and/or other contact details.

* On the matter of outstanding subscriptions, I have been over the top with work but this is now a priority. If your subscription is not up to date, please correct this now. I really don't want to have to terminate any memberships.


Kind regards



Dear Member of ISCO,


It's nearly four months since I last wrote to you and much has happened in the interim.


The AGM took place as planned on 7th May at the International Oil Spill Conference in Savannah, USA. In case you haven't already read the minutes, you can find them at and, after signing in, click on "ISCO", then "meetings".


ISCO President, David Usher, represented ISCO at the IMO Council meeting in London over 16-20 June. He was able to renew contacts with members of other international delegations and update them on new developments. David also represented ISCO and presented a paper on Submerged Oil Recovery at a recent Underwater Environment Conference in Sweden.


Since I last wrote, the following have been welcomed as new members of ISCO - The Sea Alarm Foundation (Associate Member); John Wardrop (Australia); Slickbar Indonesia; Jean Claude Sainlos, Sampling Planejamento (Brazil) and Ro-Clean Desmi.


International representation on the ISCO Executive Committee has been significantly improved with the election of Jean Claude Sainlos (France) at the AGM and the co-option of Paul Pisani (Malta) and Kerem Kemerli (Turkey) following on nomination proposals received from members. Looking forwards, it is hoped to increase international representation on the Committee with elected representatives from other regions such as Australia, Far East, Africa, South America, Middle East and Scandinavia/Northern Europe.


A Sub-Committee has been formed to revise and update the ISCO Constitution. The revised constitution will be circulated to members for approval at least one month before the next AGM which will be held at Interspill (Marseille, France) in May, 2009.


A small Sub-Committee has also been formed to manage ISCO's relationship with IMO. The members are Jean-Claude Sainlos, John Noble (Individual member of ISCO and advisor to the International Salvage Union (ISU) and ISCO Secretary, John McMurtrie. As the former head of IMO's Marine Environment Division, Jean-Claude has first hand knowledge of IMO's modus operandi. John Noble, as the former CEO of the Salvage Association, has a sound understanding of marine pollution issues. He will be in London regularly and will be well placed to maintain a dialogue with ISCO's contacts in IMO.


Looking forwards, ISCO will be providing official observers at the full-scale international response exercise between Canada and the USA in September, 2008 and an ISCO delegation will be participating in the IMO MEPC OPRC-HNS Technical Group Meetings in London from September 29 - October 3.


Our sister organization, the International Spill Accreditation Association is continuing to develop the All-Ireland Spill Response Organization Accreditation Scheme and your Secretary has attended further meetings of the Steering Group in Dublin and Belfast. The situation is encouraging with a number of new applications received from contractors wishing to gain accreditation. The current priority is the planning of a seminar and training event to take place in late September.


Most recently, a meeting was held last week with members of the UK Spill board to discuss co-operation over the setting up of an international correspondence group to develop accreditation criteria for spill response organizations (OSROs) involved in chemical and HNS response - more news on this later.


In response to requests from response contractors in the Mediterranean area wishing to gain ISAA International Accredited Status, discussions are ongoing with a view to setting up a Mediterranean Region Accreditation Scheme. ISAA is pleased to advise that Darko Domovic, the former Head of Operations at REMPEC (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Centre for the Mediterranean) will have a key role in this new development.

Finally, a few reminders and announcements -


* ISCO is looking for volunteers willing to give a few hours of their time to assist in managing the ISCO website. If you would like to help, please drop me an Email atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


* Patricia Charlebois of IMO writes "I strongly encourage delegations who have been involved in oil and/or HNS pollution incidents to submit any information on these, as these are valuable means of exchanging experiences and lessons learned". ISCO Members who feel they may be able to make a contribution should contact the Secretary as soon as possible.


* Some members have not yet registered on the website. You need to do this in order to access the Members' Area.


* Interspill Conference (Marseille, France, May 2009) has issued a call for papers. Deadline is 15th September. 


* Corporate members can place free advertisements in the Supplies & Services Section of the Public Area of the ISCO website. Contact the Secretary for details.


* IMO is looking to ISCO for qualified individuals to support its Technical Co-operation Programme, helping third world countries to implement OPRC and other conventions. Day rate, travel and subsistence costs are payable to selected candidates. For more info, contact ISCO Secretary.


* We would like to include a few words about yourself (or your company if you're a Corporate Member) under your name in the list of ISCO members. This is by way of an introduction to help members to get to know each other. If you wish, you can include your Email and/or other contact details.


* Finally, I'm sorry to have to say that a (thankfully) very small number of members have neglected to keep their subscriptions up-to-date. At the last AGM it was decided that Members who fail to pay their subscriptions will receive a reminder and if outstanding membership dues are not paid within 30 days, membership will be terminated.


That's all for now.

Kind regards,




Dear Member of ISCO,


I have started to prepare the Agenda and Papers for our 2008 AGM which will take place at IOSC in Savannah, Georgia, USA. The conference runs from 4-8 May, 2008 and if you need more information the website is at

The day and time for the meeting hasn’t yet been fixed. I shall be in touch again to let you know as soon as I can. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the AGM.


Quite a lot has happened since I last wrote to you.


David Usher (President), Rear Admiral Stacey (Member of Executive Committee) and I had a very useful and positive meeting with Stefan Micallef (Deputy Director, IMO Marine Environment Division, IMO), Patricia Charlebois (Head, Pollution Response Section) and Malamine Thiam (Head, Technical Co-operation Co-ordination and Major Projects) in London on 11th February. Discussions focused on a list of points (attached). The minutes of the meeting are still under review by IMO but will be published ASAP in the Members Only part of the ISCO website.


ISCO was well represented at the OPRC-HNS Technical Group meetings held over 25-28 March at Southampton. The ISCO delegation included David Usher, Michael Stacey, Dr Merv Fingas (Member of Council for Canada), Kevin Miller (Member of Council for UK) and myself.


David Usher, Michael Stacey and Dr Douglas Cormack (Honorary Member) formed the ISCO delegation to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting over March 31 – April 4.


Attendance at both of these events was very positive for ISCO, raising our profile and giving the ISCO delegates an opportunity to network with attendees from many countries. At the OPRC-HNS meeting, Dr Fingas and Kevin Miller both participated in working groups, making a positive contribution to the creation of new IMO manuals for the use by international response community.


Disappointingly, only three ISCO members have so far expressed interest in the invitation to become involved in the IMO Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (for details see my letter 2008-2 (attached). I hope more of you will now come forward.


As you’re already aware, ISCO is managing the International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA). Progress in the setting up of a new management committee with participation of international stakeholders is proving to be slow but we hope that, by demonstrating the value of the work being done by ISAA in raising response standards, we will merit more support.


In Ireland, there is considerable enthusiasm for the further development of the ISAA All-Ireland OSRO Accreditation Scheme. The Steering Group is working hard on a range of measures to raise response standards. Aspects being addressed include upgrading of training and response personnel competency; the development and adoption of clean-up standards; review of insurance cover levels; improving spill response administration and provision of information to clients; upgrading of response call-out and stand-by arrangements; and plans for upgrading the ISAA website, including a new database of services provided by members, the creation of a members’ forum and improved access to technical support for response capacity building.


ISAA is working to establish similar Accreditation Schemes in other countries and, if you think that this would be of benefit in your country, please get in touch with me.


ISCO is pleased to welcome Dr Douglas Cormack as an Honorary Member. As the former Chief Scientist at the British Government’s Marine Pollution Control Unit and head of the UK’s first government agency, the Warren Spring Laboratory, Douglas is a well known and highly respected figure in the spill response community. He is the Chairman and a founder member of the International Spill Accreditation Association.


ISCO is also pleased to welcome the following new Corporate Members - Briggs Marine Environmental Services Ltd. (based in Baku, Azerbaijan); Lamor Corporation Ab and Clean Globe International (both with HQ in Porvoo, Finland), and Slickbar Products Corporation (based in Seymour, Connecticut, U.S.A).


Work is ongoing to start populating the Technical and Reference Pages of the ISCO website. The intention is to upload practical information that will help members to build and improve spill response knowledge. It’s your website and I hope you will contribute useful information based on your own experience.


I’m in process of extending the ISCO Members Mailing List to include additional contacts within companies that hold corporate membership of ISCO. Please let me have names and Email addresses of staff members who would like to receive my occasional letters and/or be added to the Newsletter mailing list. In the meantime, please circulate this letter to any members of your staff that you think likely to be interested.


Finally, a reminder - If you haven’t already registered on the ISCO website at Please do so now. Until you’ve done this your access to the Members’ Area can’t be switched on.


Kind regards


John McMurtrie, Secretary.