International Spill Control Organization 2021 NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 

20:00 GMT. 15:00 EST. Friday 9th December 2021

A “face-to-face” Meeting will not be possible this year because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The 2021 AGM will therefore be held remotely. 

Members will be given information later how to join the meeting 

A downloadable PDF version of the AGENDA and APPENDIX 1 – MINUTES OF THE ISCO 2020 AGM is available here


Agenda Item 1 

Introduction to the 2021 AGM

Welcoming remarks from the Secretary-General. 

Guidance from the meeting host (ISCO VP Mary Ann Dalgleish) on remote meeting participation and etiquette. 

Agenda Item 2 

Retrospective approval of holding a remote AGM

The Secretariat proposes that Members be asked to retrospectively approve the holding of a remote AGM in 2021 and, if necessary, use a remote meeting format at a future time. 

In voting in favour of this proposal, Members agree to instruct the Secretariat to make necessary amendments to  the ISCO Constitution (download) and the ISCO Byelaws, Guidelines and Reference Information (download) to address the option to  hold remote meetings. 

Agenda Item 3 

Approval of the Minutes of the ISCO 2020 AGM

The Minutes of the 2020 AGM are attached – See Appendix 1

Agenda Item 4 

General Secretary’s Report

2021 arrived very much in the same manner that 2020 left with COVID-19 still playing a major influence upon our  lives and the way we now conduct our business. For ISCO the impact was the cancellation of face-to-face events  and meetings, those events and meetings were to some degree replaced with online virtual activities, whilst not  ideal, it enabled us all to maintain contact and to continue to deliver. 

During the year ISCO has been developing a Student Programme which Mary Ann Dalglish as being instrumental in  driving forward, to who we are very grateful for the time and effort afforded by Mary Ann to this project, which is  in addition her other demanding role of Vice President – Membership, a major task, and fundamental to the  workings of ISCO. 

A communications Working Group has been established to review all the options available to ISCO including the  online platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook to enable a wider dissemination of information about ISCO to be  achieved, we are also taking the opportunity to develop a Management System which we will enable ISCO to track  all its members and also monitor the payment of membership fees, which is seen as an essential tool in the ISCO’s  tool bag for the future development and survival, expansion of its membership base which is integral therefore we  must try develop this base as much as possible. Currently the main tool for promoting ISCO is our weekly  Newsletter, more than 3500 subscribers receive the Newsletter each week, but only around 5% of those are actual  members, we need to reach out to those non-members and encourage them to enjoy the benefits through making a subscription to ISCO in way of a membership fee. 

ISCO Newsletter Editor and VP John McMurtrie diligently every Sunday evening issues the latest Newsletter, this is  the product of extensive work by John McMurtrie each week, we must congratulate him on the excellent work he  does in producing the Newsletter every week. We are also very conscious of the fact that John is maturing in age  and is very keen to take a back seat within ISCO, therefore we desperately need to appoint another Editor for the  newsletter, who can work with John in the transferring of the Editor baton, I would welcome any interest from any  of our membership who could take on this role, with the pending change it may provide the opportunity to review  the structure of the newsletter and how it is produced and circulated 

Externally ISCO continues to maintain its links with several key NGO partners in promoting the ISCO ethos and  providing input when requested by those consultative organisations. To assist in raising awareness of ISCO we  created an Ambassadorial role for nominated members, the concept of which is that a member attending a  meeting/function/event can represent ISCO’s interests, this can either be for a single event, or on a more  permanent basis. Currently we have appointed Ambassadors in China, UK and Panama who are working to promote  the interests of ISCO throughout their regions. In addition we still welcome the support that is received from  members of the ISCO Council who provide support in promoting ISCO within their countries, I am pleased to confirm  that Dr Tim Gunter of the National Spill School in Texas has being recently appointed as National Council Member  for the USA, I wish him well in his appointment, and to him and all our National Council members on behalf of ISCO  I Thank you all for the support that you give in promoting ISCO throughout the World. 

Looking forward to the next twelve months, I hope that we can see a growth in overall membership, the  development of a marketing programme to support an additional income stream, whilst maintaining the integrity  of the ISCO ethos; the advancement of our Student Programme, who represent the future of our Industry, but most  of all I look forward to the continuing support of our membership in the process of promoting and developing ISCO’s  interests throughout the world.

Agenda Item 5 

Revenue for the year ending 31st March 2020, wholly represented by the membership fees received from  Members, was £17,557. 

Financial Report

Statement of financial position 

31st March 2021 

Current assets17,09611,392
Creditors: amounts falling due within one year(13,756)(13,756)
Net current liabilities 3,340(2,364) 
Total assets Less current liabilities3,340(2,364)
Accruals and deferred income(1,171)(693)
Net liabilities2,169(3,057)
Capital and reserves2,169(3,057) 

Agenda Item 6 

Adoption of Draft Constitution 2021

During the last few months John Wardrop (Council Member Australia) as being working on a new draft of the ISCO  constitution, the key aspect was to modernise the composition of the Constitution and to break it down into several  schedules which produced documents which are relevant and up to date whilst making it simply to follow. 

I am very grateful to John for the vast amount of work he devoted to this task, attached to these minutes is a copy  of the amended constitution and schedules which I now commit to our membership for reviewing and subsequent  ratification. Once adopted copies of the Constitution will be available on the ISCO web-site.

Agenda Item 7 

Appointments to Executive Committee and Council

Notwithstanding the usual provisions regarding rotation of members of the Executive Committee, the Secretariat  recommends that, at this time, the existing members be re-elected. 

However, the Secretariat asks that all members of the ISCO Executive Committee and ISCO Council to confirm that  they are willing to continue in their roles.  

Anyone wishing to stand down should make this known at the meeting or after the meeting by email to the  Secretariat.  

Agenda Item 8 – For information 

Membership Fees

It is not intended to recommend any changes in membership fees for the coming twelve months, therefore fees  will remain as per 2020-21. 

Agenda Item 9 

Increasing Membership

ISCO receives no subsidies from governments and bodies such as the UNEP, IMO, Industry Organizations, etc. Currently the organization’s only source of income is the annual membership fees received from Members. 

It is therefore a priority to redouble our efforts to increase the number of paying members. All Members, and  especially Members of ISCO Council, are asked to help in this effort. The Secretariat will continue to look at other  possibilities for generating funds and suggestions from Members will be welcomed. 

Agenda Item 10 


Ongoing review of the ISCO website is underway through the Communications Working Group, a good website is seen as a vital tool to effective communications for ISCO, so it is essential that maximisation of the platform is  achieved for ISCO benefit. In addition links to Facebook and LinkedIn are also in place providing additional valuable  resources. Members who may have suggestions of interest to the Communications Working Group can send an  email to the Secretariat [email protected] with cc. to ISCO’s IT support contractor, Mike Watson  [email protected] 

Agenda Item 11 

Any other business

Members are invited to submit suggestions, ideas, and comments for discussion at the AGM. 

Items to be discussed should be submitted in advance of the meeting by email to [email protected] – this to  allow for circulation to members and to give time for their consideration. 

Agenda Item 12 

Next Meeting

We very much hope that a face-to-face AGM will be possible for the 2022 AGM but at this time there is too much  uncertainty to identify a venue and date.  


The 2021 AGM Voting Form has been designed to allow Members to submit their votes electronically. Only Members in good standing (membership dues paid up to date) are entitled to vote. The closing date for submission of votes is the day after the date of the AGM. 



This meeting was held remotely using the Zoom platform. 

Date & Time – Friday 18th December 2020 at 15:00 EST, 20:00 GMT and Saturday 19th December 2020 at 0700  AEDT.  


David Usher, (President), Matthew Sommerville (Secretary), Mary Ann Dalgleish (VP Membership), John McMurtrie  (VP Newsletter), Committee Members – Marc Shaye, Dan Sheehan, Captain Bill Boyle, and Council Members – Dr  Merv Fingas (Canada), John Wardrop (Australia). 

Other attendees included Philippe Binoit, Rupert Bravery, Nigel Collingwood, John Dawes, Graham Edgeley, Kurt  Hansen, Vedran Martinic, Mark Orr, Anja Pilepic, Helena Rowland, John Zimmer, Mike Watson. 

Please note that this list is not complete as names of some attendees who did not speak will not have been  recorded. 


M. Kerem Kemerli, Ed Levine, Neil Marson. 

Agenda Voting Items

The submitted voting forms unanimously approved the motions on which Members were asked to vote and those  attending the meeting expressed their approval with no dissensions. 


Mary Ann Dalgleish (VP Membership) chaired the meeting which had a duration of 1 hour, 40 minutes. 

Highlights of the Discussions

Mary Ann Dalgleish welcomed the attendees and asked everyone to send her an email to help in ensuring that her  mailing list is complete and up to date. In response to a question John McMurtrie advised that Members of ISCO  Council were appointed by invitation from the Secretariat. On this matter it was noted that there were currently  vacancies on the Council in Brazil and Greece. Captain Boyle undertook to speak to his contacts in Brazil to seek  recommendations on the appointment of a new Member of Council for Brazil. Matthew Sommerville said he would  do the same with his contacts in Greece.  

Rupert Bravery introduced himself and informed the meeting about the co-ordinating roles he had with various  organisations, including OSPRI, GI WACAF, and his close relationships with IMO, ITOPF and others. Rupert Bravery  advised that he is due to retire in April 2021 and would have time to help ISCO to extend membership of its Council  in the 22 countries involved in GI WACAF, and in the Caspian and Black Sea areas. In his experience with the GI  WACAF countries, he identified a large appetite amongst young people for acquiring environmental knowledge and  thought there was a high potential for ISCO development.

Mary Ann Dalgleish proposed that from now on ISCO should hold monthly online meetings by Zoom. This proposal  met with the general approval of those present. Regarding the time set for online meetings, the general view was  that the time selected for the AGM was probably OK but any suggestions for variation would be considered 

Marc Shaye spoke about the upcoming March seminar “Recognition Training for Struck-by and Caught-in-between  Hazards” (details in ISCO Newsletter 767), requesting that it be discussed at a future meeting and asked members  to send relevant case studies to him at [email protected]

John McMurtrie advised that ISCO policy included growing the representation of national environmental groups – such as NOSCA (Norway), SYCAPOL (France), the Dutch association and others – within an expanded ISCO Council. Marc Shaye spoke of the RESPONSECON contracts developed by ISCO and BIMCO and volunteered to help find out  who is using these contracts and get feedback on experience in their application. Matthew Sommerville said that  information could be difficult to get because of commercial sensitivities but, if info on their clients is not asked for,  it should be possible. He also said it was time to remind people about the availability of the RESPONSECON contracts  and the benefits for members and responsible parties who adopt their use. 

John McMurtrie said that he thought ISCO would benefit from sharing information and building on its already good  relationship with BIMCO – perhaps looking at reciprocal membership.  

Matthew Sommerville reminded attendees that within the RESPONSECON contracts it was left for response  contractors to insert their own rates for personnel and equipment use. He recommended that, as a kind of “add on” it would be useful to develop a formula that could be used to calculate and justify charging rates. With fewer  spills these days high-cost response equipment may only be earning revenue for only a few times over a period of  years – but costs, including capital invested, depreciation, maintenance, insurance, training, exercising,  warehousing, etc. continued and, of course, there had to be a reasonable provision for profit. 

Mary Ann Dalgleish, Dan Sheehan, and Marc Shaye all spoke about the use of Linked-in – Currently ISCO has its own  Linked-in page and is also a member of the “Oil Spill Professionals” page. Dan Sheehan, Marc Shaye, and Mike  Watson volunteered to investigate options to increase the effective benefit for ISCO in the way we use the Linked in facility. Mike Watson already posts a link for downloading the latest ISCO Newsletter every week and on a more  occasional basis John McMurtrie posts news about ISCO activities. Mike Watson recommended that selected stories  and reports in the ISCO Newsletter should be re-posted on Linked-in pages to make for a more interesting mix of  content. 

Rupert Bravery advised that, the last time he checked, the ISCO Linked-in page had only 146 members where the  number should be in the ‘000s. He identified a need to improve this dramatically. At the same time, he said that  other social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, should be avoided as the ratio of benefit to time expended was  very poor. 

Mary Ann expressed some uncertainty concerning the validity of Campaign Monitor reports on the numbers of  “opens” and “clicks” to download the ISCO Newsletter. John McMurtrie said that over 3,000 copies of the weekly  newsletter are sent out to subscribers every week to subscribers. However, the CM reports indicate that only about  700-800 subscribers download and read the newsletter during the period monitored by CM. The actual number of  people who do read the newsletter could, he thought, be anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000. Matthew  Sommerville said that many large companies and organisations would be reported by CM as single person readers  but, will be circulating the newsletter internally to large numbers of staff. The newsletter is also accessed by readers  via links on the ISCO website and on the Linked-in page – but, of course, these numbers are not included in the CM  reports. 

John McMurtrie said that every week the CM reports advises “no shares”. He does not understand what this means  and is wondering if ISCO is missing out – could it be that there is an option for setting up some automatic mechanism  for forwarding the newsletter to social media or other potential readers? It’s not easy to get answers to questions.  David Usher recommended that ISCO should routinely be providing the newsletter and other information to  insurance groups, members of BIMCO, etc. He also recommended that we should ask members and newsletter  readers more questions about their expectations of ISCO. Marc Shaye and Rupert Bravery both said that we should  make a concerted effort to learn more about the concerns of our members and push harder to get more feed-back. Capt. Bill Boyle raised the question – “How to get more young people involved?” He related his experience in large  scale training of responders in Brazil, Rupert Bravery said much the same regarding the response to webinars  provided by GI WACAF for the 22 countries in west and central Africa – Both said that there are lots of young people  keen to learn and become more involved.

Mary Ann said the younger generation are not just interested in spill response – they are interested in the wider  area of environmental protection. John Zimmer said that they are also interested in the response to natural  disasters – hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. some of which cause pollution. 

Capt. Bill Boyle brought the matter of finding a new Secretary for ISCO back into focus. John McMurtrie reported  that one nomination had been received and that this candidate had first class credentials for the position. He did  not disclose a name because discussions were at an early stage and permission had not been given at this time.  Matthew said that the workload involved was quite onerous and we would need someone who could devote the  amount of time required. The option for work sharing should be explored. 

Rupert Bravery said that he would be happy to help. His experience and good relationships with IMO, IOGP, GI  WACAF and other organisations would be of useful. He went on to stress the importance of developing a strategy  that would define the ultimate purpose of ISCO and how we can work together to achieve clearly stated objectives.  John Dawes, John McMurtrie, and several others endorsed this policy. 

Mary Ann Dalgleish reminded everyone that better funding must be a prime objective. The reality is that we need  more paying members. David Usher recommended we encourage directors and others at high levels in companies  by introducing ideas that could be promoted in setting policies. Rupert Bravery stressed the need to involve  practitioners and people with crisis management responsibilities. 

John Wardrop said that success would very much depend on identifying responsibilities – who does what and each  person to accept responsibility for fulfilling his/her part in the plan.  


1. There was a consensus that the online meeting was useful, and it was agreed that further online meetings be  held monthly. 

2. The majority of those who spoke at the meeting made personal commitments to help ISCO in various ways. 3. There was support for the development of a forward strategy for growing the organisation with particular  emphasis on involving the younger generation. 

4. The meeting recognised that improved funding was a primary concern, and that recruitment of more paying  members must be a priority. 

5. Improved communication between the organisation and its members should be pursued with emphasis on  understanding expectations and getting more feedback. 

6. The meeting recognised that there was a need to raise ISCO’s profile – there are far too many people who are  not aware of the organisation and what it sets out to achieve. 


The 2021 AGM Voting Form has been designed to allow Members to submit their votes electronically. Only Members in good standing (membership dues paid up to date) are entitled to vote. The closing date for submission of votes is the day after the date of the AGM. 


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