Before, when ships sink, report on its impact to the marine ecosystem is not fully assessed. The issue is more on the safety of the crew and passengers on board and its impact on the value of the cargo in terms of damage. But the losses now incurred from the loss of ecosystem services are far more valuable than the cargo and loss of life from shipwrecks.
The New Zealand Bay of Plenty oil spill is now considered a major disaster of global importance. The impact of the oil spill has damages which value is far greater than the value of the cargo and oil carried on-board because damages that will impact future generations by keeping the marine ecosystem in pristine condition.
With the volume of information provided on the risks of marine pollution, maritime personnel still has not fully appreciated the risks of losing ecosystem values in which our own survival depends.