Predicting the impact of an oil spill

How would a shipping accident off the coast of Scotland affect local businesses and wildlife? What would it cost the insurance industry?

RSA and WWF are developing a series of risk maps to help insurers and their customers answer questions like this.

The first in the series shows the impact of a hypothetical oil spill from a passenger ship in an environmentally sensitive area of Scotland. It includes an interactive element, which reveals how the oil would spread over the first five days, potentially reaching several ports, fish farms and conservation areas.

The map is designed for insurers, to help them understand the location of risks and to protect themselves against possible losses, including environmental clean-up costs. Insurers can also use the maps to help their customers understand environmental risks and to encourage them to operate responsibly.

Over the next three years, RSA and WWF will develop risk maps covering the Canadian coastline, Barents Sea and Baltic Sea – all regions of environmental sensitivity and commercial activity.

You can view the interactive map at and read the RSA and WWF briefing on emerging risks for the marine environment at

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