74 MIZAN LAW REVIEW, Vol. 10, No.1 September 2016
London occupy special place in the international salvage paradigm. The second
section briefly discusses the subject matter of salvage. Definitions of terms such
as ‘vessel’, ‘ship’ or ‘maritime property’ will be elucidated upon. A major
reason for focusing on these definitions is to highlight the evolution of the
different meanings ascribed to these terms.
The third section highlights the three core elements of the law of salvage:
danger, voluntariness and success. Section 4 focuses on environmental
protection in salvage operations. Many salvage operations have had negative
impacts on the environment, thus, this section highlights the role of the
International Salvage Convention 19892 in protecting the environment. The fifth
section suggests some reforms to improve protection of the environment in the
international salvage paradigm. The article also considers if the development of
a separate environmental salvage award can be the panacea to some of the
weaknesses in environmental protection in salvage operations.
1. The History and Evolution of Salvage
Salvage is traditionally concerned with the salving or preservation of property in
peril at sea3 and it is unique to maritime law.4 If a person willingly rescues the
property of another person on land, he gets no reward. However, if the same
service is performed at sea, the person salving the maritime property, the
‘salvor’, will be entitled to a reward, not exceeding the value of the property
salved.5 Salvors are provided special in centives in addition to the compensati on
development of the law of Salvage. Generally, see Olivia Lennox-King (2007) ‘Laying
the Mark to Port and Starboard: Salvage under duress and Economic duress at Contract
Law’ 21 Australian & New Zealand Maritime Law Journal 31, 32; Catherine Swan (2009)
‘The Restitutionary and Economic Analyses of Salvage Law’ 23 Australian & New
Zealand Maritime Law Journal 99. See also George F. Steckley (2014) ‘The Seventeenth-
Century Origins of Modern Salvage Law’ 35(3) The Journal of Legal History 209. Thus,
some scholars aver that the ‘first recorded salvage dispute dates fro m 1601’. See Yin-
Cheng Hsu (2016) ‘Developments in International Cultural Heritage Law: What Hampers
the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.’ 3 Edin burgh
Student Law Review 116, p. 125.
2 International Convention on Salvage, 1989. Drafted by the Comite Maritime International
(CMI) under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Also referred
to as the Salvage Convention 1989 or the London Salvage Convention.
<http://www.jus.uio.no/lm/imo.salvage.convention.1989/doc.html> accessed 1 January
3 Geoffrey Brice (2003) Brice on Maritime Law of Salvage (4thedn, Sweet and Maxwell)
5 Simon Baughen (2012) Shipping Law (5th edn, Routledge) p. 274. However, under Article
8(1) (c) and (d) of the 1989 Convention a salvor, in appropriate circumstances, is required
to seek assistance and accept the intervention of other salvors’.