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Assessing concepts, systems and tools for a safer, efficient and environmentally aware and friendly maritime transport

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects,
Societal/Economic issues,
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Unquestionably, all shipping operations exert pressures on the marine environment. In parallel, legal framework on this issue is rapidly evolving at international, European and local levels, in order to reach a safe and environmentally acceptable maritime transport system.

The acceptance of the hazards and risks associated with the use of antifouling paints, the discharge of ballast water and emissions from ship exhaust has led to research and
development into methods to mitigate these effects.


SEAM focuses on formulating safety and environmental measures and procedures to mitigate the impact of three key elements of shipping operations on the marine environment:

  • Ballast water management;
  • anti-fouling paints; and
  • quality of fuel and emissions.

More specifically, SEAM targets:

  • Technical and operational solutions for treating ballast water;
  • assessment of existing anti-fouling paints as well as environmentally friendly alternatives; and
  • proposals for reduction of air pollution from ships.


SEAM will utilise Formal Safety and Environmental Assessment (FSEA) methodology as a rational structure for achieving its objectives. It will also make use of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to assist in the scientific and technical evaluation.

The measures that will be proposed will meet acceptable risk levels of shipping operations taking into account the views of the main stakeholders - i.e. shipowners, shipmanagers, shippers, ports, terminals, and regulatory bodies - and will be assessed for economic viability.

SEAM's five principal areas of investigation comprise:

  • FSEA of the maritime transport system relative to ballast water management, the use of anti-fouling paints and air pollution from ships;
  • safety and environmental measures of existing preventive and consequence reducing measures (mitigation);
  • Risk Analysis Evaluation tool;
  • life cycle engineering of the design; and
  • new safety and environmental measures including management, procedures and operational tools verified by case studies and economic feasibility.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


SEAM has:

  • Identified maritime hazards and collected related data for three key issues:

    - ballast water management,

    - anti-fouling paints, and

    - quality of fuel and emissions;
  • done a risk assessment for two geographical examples, i.e the German Bight and the Gulf of Naples, looking at the regulatory influences affecting the level of risk;
  • developed a numerical model comprising risk control measures, based on scientific methodologies for the evaluation of environmental risks, and interfaced with a Geographical Information System (GIS), in order to:

    - reduce the frequency of failures,

    - mitigate the effect of failures,

    - alleviate circumstances where failures may occur, and

    - mitigate the consequences of the release of pollutants;
  • done a cost/benefit analysis for each of the above risk control measure and for those entities of interest which are influenced the most by identified hazards; and
  • made recommendations for decision-making, comparing alternative options based on their potential for risk reduction and their cost effectiveness.

Policy implications

The findings of the risk analysis and calculations undertaken point to a persistent lack of consistent information on costs and especially benefits of the different techniques for the reduction of environmental impacts caused by international shipping. However, on the other hand SEAM managed to collect information on several alternative techniques for the substitution of tri-butyl-tin (TBT) based antifouling paints, for ballast water treatment and for reduction of NOx emissions.

Based on these outcomes and the usual methods of economic cost/benefit analysis, it can be stated that most of the measures are economically viable from the overall perspective, including all external benefits. However, as the benefits are external they are not considered in the decision process of vessel operators and hence will not be realised and addressed without the presence of legal pressure or the grant of financial compensation.


Key Findings
No results directly relevant to this theme. However, please note that some findings relevant to the project's key theme (Safety and Security) are generically applicable.


Policy Implications

No policy implications directly relevant to this theme. However, please note that implications for the project's key theme (Safety and Security) are generically applicable.

Economic aspects

Key Findings

SEAM has:

  • done a cost/benefit analysis for each of the above risk control measure and for those entities of interest which are influenced the most by identified hazards.


Policy Implications

No policy implications directly rel


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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