The compensation schedule approach for the assessment of oil spill damages to marine resources of the RSA

  • Saif M. Al-Ghais
  • Walter H. Pearson


Several oil spills have occurred in UAE waters, but the assessment of oil spill damages has proved as problematic here as elsewhere. We offer a compensation schedule approach to overcome potential difficulties in damages assessment and examine several scenarios in which the schedule approach might be useful. An oil spill damages assessment generally has four steps: 1) identify the resources at risk, 2) demonstrate injury to resources, 3) determine the extent of any injury in space and time, and 4) estimate the economic value or damages associated with the injury. There are technical and other difficulties at each stage. Compensation schedules have been developed to address translation of oil contamination and resource exposure and injuries into economic damages when information is incomplete or can not be obtained without inordinate effort. Information on the amount and type of oil spilled, the amount of oil recovered, the season, the habitats oiled, the resources exposed, and the value and sensitivity of the resources is used in the schedule to establish the economic value losses associated with the spill. We believe that an oil spill compensation schedule developed in more detail for the ROPME Sea Area would enable rapid calculation of damages without large or time-consuming studies. A developed schedule is more likely to be used, and its more frequent and widespread use would enhance its value as a deterrent to less than full attention to oil spill prevention.


Damage Assessment Schedule Approach American Petroleum Institute Marine Turtle Vulnerability Score 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Geselbracht, L., and Logan, R. 1993. Washington’s marine oil spill compensation schedule-Simplified resource damage assessment. In: Proceedings, 1993 International Oil Spill Conference. American Petroleum Institute, Washington, D.C., pp. 705–709Google Scholar
  2. Hayes, M.O., Michel, J., Montello, T.M., Aurand, D.V., Al-Mansi, A.M., Al-Moamen, A.H., Sauer, T.C., and Thayer, G.W. 1993. Distribution and weathering of shoreline oil one year after the Gulf War Oil Spill. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 27: 135–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Pearson, W.H., Neff, J.M., Brandt, C.J., Wellman, K., and Al-Ghais, S. 1996. Damage to commercial fisheries and marine environments of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Resulting from the Seki Crude Oil Spill of 30 March 1994. Final Report prepared for the Government of Fujairah by Battelle Memorial Institute, Publication PNWD-2365 of the Battelle Pacific Northwest Division, Richland, Washington. In two Volumes, 101 pp. + appendices.Google Scholar
  4. Pearson, W.H., Al-Ghais, S. Neff, J.M., Brandt, C.J., Wellman, K. and Green, T. 1998. Assessment of damage to commercial fisheries and marine environments of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Resulting from the Seki Oil Spill of March 1994: A Case Study. Bulletin Series of Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 103: 407–428.Google Scholar
  5. Price, A.R.G., Sheppard, C.R.C., and Roberts, C.M. 1993. The Gulf: Its Biological Setting. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 27: 9–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Sheppard, C., Price, A. and Roberts, C. 1992. Marine Ecology of the Arabian Region. Patterns and Processes in Extreme Tropical Environments. London, Academic Press, 359 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saif M. Al-Ghais
    • 1
  • Walter H. Pearson
    • 2
  1. 1.Biology Department, Faculty of ScienceU.A.E. UniversityAl-AinUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Environmental Research and Wildlife Development AgencyAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations