Strait of Malacca: Is a Tragedy Brewing?


Increasing traffic in the Strait of Malacca in the contested South China Sea region is causing much concern over the safety of the vessels, reported The Jakarta Post.

Participants of a tripartite forum are looking to initiate control measures which they hope will prevent more accidents from occurring, as more than 62,000 vessels had passed through the strait back in 2007 and the number is expected to have more than doubled in the next four years.

Sugihardjo, Transportation Ministry Secretary General for Indonesia said: “[the Strait of Malacca] is one of the most strategic straits in the world for shipping line[s], “We have to work hard in addressing this situation.” He added that Indonesia wanted to initiate the use of marine pilotage with innovative technology to help prevent accidents.

The Strait of Malacca is one of the busiest stretches of water in the world, it sees approximately half of all merchant maritime traffic pass through it every year and a third of all maritime traffic overall.

It has also been reported recently that due to high value cargo and high traffic, it has increasingly become a high risk area for piracy.

In August, 2016, Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia said that he was determined to turn Indonesia into a maritime power by improving port and general infrastructure.

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