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Sri Lanka busts oil spill using satellite surveillance for first time

17 February 2024 07:05 am - 20     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, Feb 17 (Daily Mirror) - Following the initiative with the French government to detect oil spills in Sri Lankan waters using satellite surveillance, Sri Lanka has detected the first such incident and fined Rs. 15 million to the responsible company, the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said.

According to the MEPA, on February 5, the CLS analysts (The French Company) reported the detection of significant oil pollution off their coasts, by an illegal discharge of the Global Crest, a 120-metre tanker cruising from Malaysia to the UAE.

Action was taken immediately against the vessel and an onboard inspection was conducted, which revealed clear evidence of the illegal discharge. The ship was detained until the owner admitted the offence and acknowledged the maximum fine of Rs. 15 million pursuant to national regulations.

Lying at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka is strategically located to become a key stage along the main Indian Ocean shipping routes. However, it is exposed to the increasing risk of pollution from both accidental spills and illegal discharges.

In the frame of the OSDS initiative funded by the French Government, Sri Lanka recently entrusted CLS with the delivery of a service to detect oil pollution and identify polluters from space. This proven detection system has already been successfully deployed in other regions around the world, like in Europe, where the Cleanseanet service operated by the European Maritime Safety Authority (EMSA) has had a clear deterrent effect, halving the number of pollution incidents detected in European waters in 10 years.

Since September 2023, CLS has been delivering more than 100 detection reports to MEPA with the aim of demonstrating the effectiveness of satellite technologies in reducing marine pollution and mitigating their environmental impact.

This case is considered a real success by the OSDS stakeholders, proving the relevance and efficiency of the initiative. It paves the way towards developing a sovereign, fully operational local capability to meet the challenges that lie ahead.


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  Comments - 20

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  • Solution Saturday, 17 February 2024 08:01 AM

    Tell this to NG about "fined Rs. 15 million". He knows how to deal with it.

    shanaka Saturday, 17 February 2024 08:10 AM

    can we just do this and stop taxing on citizens, now you got a new revenue toy to play with , go play stop annoying citizens go after these big companies, someone demo this to mr bean first get him onboard

    Charge them minimum US$2 million or More Saturday, 17 February 2024 12:50 PM

    Absolutely, this is another source of income to the nation if penalties are in the minimum of US$2 million. Should be able to cut down some personal taxes of lower income people.

    Be Fair Saturday, 17 February 2024 09:01 AM

    Super effort. But USD 48,000 as a fine for Pollution?

    Cricy Saturday, 17 February 2024 10:43 PM

    Ya. And did they even clean up the spill?

    Dan Saturday, 17 February 2024 09:01 AM

    Pretty normal procedure elsewhere. Shows how far behind we are from the rest of the world.

    Rathnavali Saturday, 17 February 2024 09:18 AM

    Excellent. This is the way forward with new technology.

    Sri Saturday, 17 February 2024 09:20 AM

    Can't we use Chichi's satellite.

    Gamarala Saturday, 17 February 2024 02:37 PM

    Chichi and NASA still chasing were his satellite landed. Looks like it directly went to the sun. Poor peoples kids play with toys, politicians kids play with satellite.bcoz their parents don't spend a penny. So they don't care any money wanted.

    THANKS TO THE FRENCH, WE GOT ANOTHER SOURCE OF INCOME Saturday, 17 February 2024 04:10 PM

    N000000000000000000000000000000000000000. We have had enough OF BEING UNDER OBLIGATION TO CHIN CHIN full stop.

    Steve Saturday, 17 February 2024 09:24 AM

    Which authority has collected the fine?

    Increase Minimum fine to US$2million or more Saturday, 17 February 2024 10:19 AM

    The fines should be more. Rs.15million is only around US$48k. This is peanuts to an oil or cargo company. Make it a minimum of US$2million for any pollution so it’s a deterrent to the others. Remember, to catch oil spills is a very difficult task unless you there at the very moment of the spill.

    saman Saturday, 17 February 2024 12:10 PM

    Well done, thanks to the French Government and MEPA for the detection and action taken. Shipping companies has taken the sea of Sri Lanka as a garbage bin. Hope this money will not go to someone's pocket like the Express Perl ship disaster and initial claim received.

    Dinesh Saturday, 17 February 2024 12:44 PM

    This is a complete joke. Fifteen million LKR is just under 50,000 USD, which is merely the average salary of a single person in a Western country. A ship charges its clients more than that for just two days.

    Source of Income if Heavier Penalties Saturday, 17 February 2024 12:44 PM

    As suggested by @Shanaka, this is another source of income to the nation if fines are in the millions of US$. Should be able to cut down some personal taxes of lower income people.

    ANNECUNT Saturday, 17 February 2024 02:22 PM

    CHICHI'S satellite has gone underground with our stolen money

    ANNECUNT Saturday, 17 February 2024 04:54 PM

    make sure money does not go to RAJAPAKSA POCKETS

    UMAS ALI Saturday, 17 February 2024 04:57 PM

    chichi's satellete is gone underground with our stolen money

    modakosaka Saturday, 17 February 2024 09:23 PM

    Everyone will pay the fine and discharge ..GOOD BUSINESS ..Sinhala kama ..lol

    Concerned Sunday, 18 February 2024 11:47 AM

    Who is incharge of fines? This seem like an uneducated fools guesstimate amount. An oil spill in the sea depending on the amount, is a major clean up job that cost millions of dollars. Plus not to forget the environment impact to marine life and surroundings. This amount sounds more like hush money than a fine. Good luck Srilankans.


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