We are looking forward to welcoming industry professionals to the UK and Ireland Spill Association Marine Spill and Plastic Pollution Conference at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) Southampton on 11 and 12 June. We have an esteemed list of speakers and a great panel in which to discuss the implications of the arrival of Alternative Fuels in Marine Propulsion.

We are also proud to have Sustainable Oil Recovery and Remediation joining SureClean Response as our Silver Sponsors of the event.

Day 1 will focus on Marine Spills; information gathering, modelling and stakeholder management and then focus on Alternative fuels with a distinguished panel of experts in their fields joining together to look at the implications of their introduction and how we may best manage the risks.

Day 2 will focus on Plastic and report on the work of our Plastic Pollution Working Group. We will be looking at where it comes from and the volumes that end up in the oceans, and look at how all of the global policy frameworks can work together to prevent large pellet loss. Recent novel research will be revealed that shows the significant health risks of these pellets. We are also looking at the role of NGOs and how they are shaping public opinion and forcing government action. We look at recovery equipment and the types of equipment our members are using. We want to seek views on what is the end point of a plastic spill – how far do you keep on cleaning and how do we conclude the Net Environmental Benefit. We also discuss waste disposal and want to draw on everyone experience and then discuss if Enzymes are the ideal route ahead.

This conference will be stimulating, full of new knowledge, fun and a great networking opportunity.

To register to attend go to: https://conference.ukeirespill.org

If you have any queries please contact:

Mark J Orr, Executive Director, UK and Ireland Spill Association

Mob: 07864 707408, Tel: 0333 444 1890



Dr Lauren Biermann first worked as the senior Earth Observation scientist for Cefas and marine lead on the Defra Earth Observation (EO) Centre of Excellence for 3 years. Thereafter, she joined the EO Science Applications group at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, where she divided her time between leading EUMETSAT marine earth observation training workshops and using high-resolution satellite data and machine learning for the detection and classification of materials floating on the ocean surface. In September 2023, Lauren joined the School of Biological and Marine Sciences as a Marine Remote Sensing lecturer and researcher.

She will be speaking at our Marine Spill and Plastic Pollution Conference on 11 June in a fascinating session entitled: ‘Making best use of Visual tools in spill response including spill response and tracking plastic pollution using satellites and drones’.

Dr Vania Stefani is the CEO of Oil Spill Response Ltd having spent  20+ years in oil and gas, excelling in engineering, operations, and process safety. Starting at Imperial College, she led the fire and explosion model team. With BP, Vania rose to Vice President of Operations for Mauritania and Senegal, leading diverse teams across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She was key in responding to the Deepwater Horizon incident and managing crises in other regions. In 2023, she became CEO of Oil Spill Response Limited. Vania holds a Master’s in Process Engineering from the University of Padua and a PhD in Thermophysics from Ecole Nationale Superieure de Mines de Paris.

She will be speaking at our Marine Spill and Plastic Pollution Conference on 11 June in a fascinating keynote presentation entitled Designing response capability for current and future challenges.

Liam Harrington-Missin’s career spans over 18 years at the forefront of technological innovation, deeply rooted in environmental protection. An oceanographer by training, his establishment of Oil Spill Response Ltd.’s modelling and mapping services has been a cornerstone in advancing the industry’s response to oil spills.  Liam’s approach is uniquely characterised by a commitment to practical, frontline applicability, ensuring that innovations are not only cutting-edge but also directly applicable in real-world scenarios and frontline users. By integrating emerging technologies like geospatial analytics, AI, and virtual reality, he is pioneering efforts to revolutionise oil spill response capabilities.

He will be speaking at our Marine Spill and Plastic Pollution Conference on 11 June in a fascinating presentation entitled: Turning complex datasets into understandable information to ensure clear communication to stakeholders.

Falco Martin is a Programme Officer on Marine Plastics at the international wildlife conservation organisation, Fauna & Flora. Falco is a Marine biologist by formation and he currently supports the team’s global policy work, with a particular focus on microplastics, as well as providing technical support to Fauna & Flora’s regional teams and partners around the world who work to tackle plastic pollution. In recent months, Falco has been following closely different plastic pellet policy developments, such as those of the International Maritime Organisation, the European Commission and the UN Global Plastic treaty.

He will be speaking at our Marine Spill and Plastic Pollution Conference on 12 June in a fascinating presentation entitled: How different policy frameworks can work together to prevent large-scale plastic pellet loss at sea.

Dr Jon Burton is the Managing Director of Oracle Environmental Experts and has over 25 years of experience in the environmental industry and has extensive experience in spill response and the investigation and remediation of historically contaminated land.  

He’s a Board Director with the International Spill Accreditation Scheme which provides independent accreditation of the knowledge, experience and capabilities of spill response firms operating from the UK and Ireland, and is a former chairman of the UK and Ireland Spill Association. Jon provides regular technical updates to accredited members, assists with setting standards for the accreditation scheme, and with the compilation and review of best practice guidance.

Oracle Environmental are founding and active members of the Plastic Pollution Working Group and have authored several reports published through the PPWG and presented several webinars on their research. They have also completed work for Fidra on the ‘Mapping of the global plastic pellet supply chain’, with the report and supporting information packs freely available to download through the Fidra website.

Jon has a keen interest in dealing with the impact of plastic on our environment and health and has been working with Paul on this project for the last 6 months and today’s talk is the first publication of the findings from their research.

Paul Walker (BSc, MRSC) gained his Chemistry degree from Grey College, Durham University, and has worked for SOCOTEC UK for 26 years.  As Senior Technical and Development Specialist in the Environmental Science sector at SOCOTEC UK, Paul is responsible for developing analytical methods, both for improving current methodologies and implementing new emerging work areas. Paul is an expert in the field of environmental forensics and is currently involved in the examination of samples for microplastics.  Paul is a committee member of the British Standards Institution and a national expert to ISO and CEN.

Jon and Paul will jointly be presenting their recent analysis at our Marine Spill and Plastic Pollution Conference on 12 in a presentation entitled: ‘Analysis of persistent organic pollutants in plastic pellets recovered from UK Shorelines: implications for health risks, ecotoxicology and spill response operations’.