In more detail, what is “special compensation”, and why was it introduced?

Compensation for a salvor who has carried out salvage operations in respect of a vessel which, by itself or its cargo, threatened damage to the environment but where the salvor has failed to earn a reward under Article 13 of the Salvage Convention at least equivalent to the special compensation assessable under Article 14. It was introduced into the 1989 Salvage Convention as an incentive to professional salvors to stay in the salvage business, since so many were leaving it due to low salvage rewards failing to cover high salvage costs.

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Where special compensation may be payable, why might the salvor have failed to earn a reward?

In outline, what is “special compensation”?