This paper investigates the social costs of marine accidents with a view to their incorporation as part of a total evaluation of marine traffic management systems. The paper is formulated in a cost-benefit analysis framework and begins with an overview of this approach to measuring costs and benefits and a discussion of the general measurement problems involved. Two major social costs are identified: (1) the cost of cargo pollution, principally oil, and (2) the cost of injury, fatal injury in particular, mainly to sailors. The former affects the other users of marine resources such as fishermen and tourists; the latter affects the injured parties and/or their dependants. Since many of the social costs and benefits to be valued do not have a market value in the conventinal economic sense, objective evaluation is difficult. In cases of damage to the environment, measurement is particularly difficult as some of the interactions in the environment are not well understood. But the fact that the range of costs, particularly those arising from oil pollution, affect quite a number of other economic sectors makes a serious attempt to handle social costs and benefits imperative. Under present practice in cargo pollution the polluter is generally required to pay at least part of the cost of the pollution. But at best the value of the payments made cover only the direct clean-up cost and do not include the externalities cost and other components of the total cost to society of pollution. In the case of the loss of human life or injury suffered, a range of estimates is given which suggests that society's valuation of human life and limb considerably exceed private commercial valuations. The paper therefore argues that the social costs for cargo pollution and for death or injury that should be used in evaluating any marine traffic management system should be much higher than the private cost that is the primary concern of the individual fleet operator.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • From Man and Navigation, Summaries of the papers presented at the International Congress of the Institutes of Navigation held at the University of Sussex, Falmer, England, 10-14 Sept 1979.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Royal Institute of Navigation, England

    1 Kensington Gore
    London SW7,   England 
  • Authors:
    • O'Rathaille
    • Wiedemann, Peter M
  • Publication Date: 1979

Media Info

  • Pagination: n.p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00197085
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Conf Paper
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 29 1979 12:00AM