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Malaysia is responsible for monitoring one of the busiest trade routes in the world – the Malacca Straits. Consequently, Malaysian waters suffer from high pollution rates.

It is estimated that RM4 million (US$1 trillion) or cargo is carried through the Malacca Straits annually, with a ship sailing through every 3.6 minutes. The majority of oil pollution is caused by operational discharges from oil tank and cargo area cleaning.

Commercial shipping operators are required under international law to dispose of pollutants in a strictly environmentally friendly manner. Bilge contents can include large quantities of oil, sewage and a whole range of other toxic contaminants. Cleaning of these tanks represents up to 10% of the ship’s operational costs. Therefore, there is a significant incentive to undertake illegal dumping whilst at sea.

Some of the potential impacts of bilge pollution on Malaysia are serious harm to marine life, toxins passed into the food chain, and damage to environmentally sensitive areas (such as mangroves).

EASOS will assist the Malaysian Government in identifying incidents of marine pollution and support prosecution of offenders. The information available through the EASOS dashboard will enable the Malaysian authorities to identify and locate discharges, forecast the pollution dispersal (where it is heading) and identify the vessels that are likely to be responsible. This will enable the Malaysian coastguard, subject to international maritime regulations, to apprehend potential culprits.

Furthermore, the Malaysian Government believes that active monitoring of the Malacca Straits will deter operators consideFFring illegal behaviour. 

From an economic and environmental perspective, we estimate EASOS will enable:

  • 10% reduction of the financial impact on marine pollution RM1 billion (US$240 million)
  • Evidence gathering to improve prosecutions, environmental resilience and economic growth
  • Reduction in bilge discharges with positive impact on food sustainability, the blue economy and environment.