The vision of the Bonn Agreement is a Greater North Sea and its Approaches free from accidental and illegal pollution from shipping, offshore oil and gas operations and other maritime activities. To work towards this goal the Agreement undertakes a range of activities within the framework of prevention, preparedness and response.

Inside Activities


In order to prevent illegal or accidental pollution most Bonn Agreement Contracting Parties undertake aerial surveillance to enforce maritime pollution rules and standards.



Bonn Agreement countries need to meet international and European obligations to ensure that they are prepared to respond in the event of pollution incidents or to a threat of pollution. Contracting Parties work together to ensure the knowledge, planning, training and operational testing of emergency systems is in place to ensure effective preparedness.



Despite efforts to increase maritime safety there will always be the risk of incidents. With a combination of growing levels of maritime transportation and the expansion of other human activities, such as renewable energy development, the risks for the marine environment increase. Contracting Parties therefore aim to improve their joint response to incidents, based on risk assessments, ensuring counter-pollution activities are executed with the best available techniques and equipment.



The Greater North Sea and its wider approaches is one of the busiest and most highly used maritime areas in the world. With the ever-increasing competition for space comes an increased risk of accidents that could result in marine pollution.



Bonn Agreement countries cooperate on a wide range of technical issues through the Working Group on Operational, Technical and Scientific Questions Concerning Counter Pollution Activities (OTSOPA). To ensure that the best available technology and techniques are used for surveillance and response Bonn Agreement Contracting Parties share information and collaborate on a range of research and development programmes.



OSINet, the Bonn Agreement oil spill identification network of experts, was set up in 2005 following difficulties encountered in identifying oil spill sources from the Tricolor accident in 2002.



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