Miller, D.D., Hotte, N. and Sumaila, U.R. (2014) Mandating responsible flagging practices as a strategy for reducing the risk of coastal oil spills. Marine Pollution Bulletin

As human civilization is becoming more aware of the negative impact our actions can inflict upon the natural world, the intensification of fossil fuel extraction and industrial development is being met with increasing opposition. In Western Canada, proposals that would increase the volume of petroleum transported by pipelines and by tankers through the coastal waters of British Columbia have engaged the province in debate. To ease public concern on the risk of a coastal oil spill, there are additional commitments that involved parties could make. There is evidence to show that the practice of registering vessels under foreign flags of states that have exhibited failure in compliance with international obligations is more common amongst petroleum tankers that have been involved in large-scale oil spills. To prove that they are committed to reducing the risk of oil spills, businesses need to stop registering their vessels under flags of foreign, non-compliant states.