Oil spill impacts on mangroves: Recommendations for operational planning and action based on a global review

Mar Pollut Bull. 2016 Aug 30;109(2):700-15. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.06.082. Epub 2016 Jul 1.


Mangrove tidal wetland habitats are recognised as highly vulnerable to large and chronic oil spills. This review of current literature and public databases covers the last 6 decades, summarising global data on oil spill incidents affecting, or likely to have affected, mangrove habitat. Over this period, there have been at least 238 notable oil spills along mangrove shorelines worldwide. In total, at least 5.5milliontonnes of oil has been released into mangrove-lined, coastal waters, oiling possibly up to around 1.94millionha of mangrove habitat, and killing at least 126,000ha of mangrove vegetation since 1958. However, there were assessment limitations with incomplete and unavailable data, as well as unequal coverage across world regions. To redress the gaps described here in reporting on oil spill impacts on mangroves and their recovery worldwide, a number of recommendations and suggestions are made for refreshing and updating standard operational procedures for responders, managers and researchers alike.

Keywords: Impacts; Mangroves; Monitoring; Oil spills; Pollution; Risk management; Standard operational procedure recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ecosystem
  • Environment
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation
  • Petroleum Pollution* / statistics & numerical data
  • Wetlands*