In an era of rapidly growing maritime trade, the advent of large modern tankers has generated new marine environmental risks. The customary right of access to a place of refuge for vessels in distress is becoming a complex issue of increasingly conflicting values reflecting humanitarian response and environmental conservation. A national ‘Places of Refuge'' policy is an essential component of Canada''s oceans management strategy, for providing a cohesive and robust structure for conflict resolution and environmental protection. This unique book outlines a risk assessment procedure to categorize Canadian ports as places of refuge based on defined risk levels, allowing for the optimum allocation of resources for upgrading the refuge suitability of ports. The measures suggested in this ground-breaking work propose elements of a national policy and risk assessment procedure which are comprehensive, pragmatic and flexible within the country''s existing command and control infrastructure. It will be extremely useful as an invaluable guide and management tool to all port and ship management personnel in Canada as well as all over the world.