If the Fertile Crescent is the where agricultural and urban civilization was conceived, then the Mediterranean Sea is the womb in which it grew and developed into a form recognizable as the antecedent of modern Western Civilization. It's waters have witnessed the passage of Phoenician traders and Helene colonists and raiders, and became the thoroughfare which enabled Rome, whose heritage underlies our institutions to this day, to maintain a unified Empire for centuries. However, that heritage is at risk, as modern shipping and industrial development release toxic wastes, and particularly oil spills all over the Mediterranean. On-line oil spill monitoring has become a central tool in limiting the damage and saving our common heritage.
Recently, the EU launched the "'Automatic oil-spill recognition and geopositioning integrated in a marine monitoring network" (ARGOMARINE) project. This project is intended to develop a network of on-line oil spill monitoring platforms which would monitor major shipping lanes, and to develop a data management system for public use.
Process failure monitoring
Oil spills are ultimately expressions of process failure. Pipes leak. The bunding tank overflows. The sealant degrades. The response teams are not notified of the leak or lack relevant and actionable information. Process failure monitoring can, provided it is sufficiently diligent, identify the problem before it develops and hence help contain the damage, as well as aid in improving processes.