British Marine Life Study Society

Oil Tanker Disasters: Oiled Bird Count

Oil Spilled:

Amococ Cadiz (Brittany, 1978)             223,000 tonnes
Torrey Canyon (Isles of Scilly , 1967)    117,000 tonnes
Braer (Shetland Isles,  1993)              84,000 tonnes
Sea Empress (S W Wales, 1996)              71,800 tonnes
Erika (North Biscay, 1999)                 26,000 tonnes                    

Oiled Birds:

Amoco Cadiz        N/K          Estimate  25,000+
Torrey Canyon     7879          Estimate  25,000+
Braer             1784          Estimate   6,500+
Sea Empress       7080          Estimate  17,000+
Esso Bernicia     2338+         Estimate   4,000+
Erika                           Estimate  21,000+
The count of oiled Common Scoter, Melanitta nigra, as the result of the Sea Empress spill totalled 4,700 birds, of which 1,700 received treatment by the RSPCA. (source: JNCC Annual Report 1995-96).
The Braer oil spill had a severe effect on the population of the Great Northern Diver and Long-tailed Duck which had already been seriously depleted by the Esso Bernicia spill of 1978.
For more information see the link to the book.

The counts of the birds oiled in the Braer spill were published in Glaucus.


The measurement of quantities used is one tonne of crude oil that is roughly equal to 308 US gallons, or 7.33 barrels. Or 256 UK gallons, or 7.12 barrels. 

Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Oil Pollution on Rocky Shores
Oil Tanker Disaster: Dangers to Marine Wildlife         Greenpeace's Oil Exploration page off the Atlantic coast of Scotland

BP Deepwater Horizon and comparisons with other major spills

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