The average number of oil spills which occur worldwide each year has dropped immensely since the 1970s. Today, there are roughly 3.3 oil spills of the largest variety (>700 tonnes) and in 1970 there were 25.4 oil spills of this magnitude. The number of medium sized spills (7-700 tonnes) between 2000 to 2009 is under 200. In 1970, by contrast, it was just under 600. However, the largest portion of spills occurring are under 7 tonnes but reporting of the smallest kind is less frequent and the statistics are therefore less reliable and more difficult to access. It is important though that an enormous percentage of oil spilt each year is typically caused by a few large spills. Charts, pie graphs, and other useful statistics can be found following the ITOPF information services link below:
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