JOHOR BARU: The authorities suspect foreign tankers had discharged marine fuel oil that resulted in the spill detected off Kota Tinggi on Wednesday.

Southern Region Marine Department director Dickson Dollah said satellite images had captured several vessels anchored over two days from April 14 in the waters of Tanjung Balau and Batu Layar where the spill had occurred.

“We believe they discharged the oil at night to escape detection by the authorities,” he told Bernama when contacted today.

He said it is believed that the vessels had left the area.

Dickson also said it is estimated that 300 tonnes of marine fuel oil had been discharged and the spill covered an area four nautical miles from the coast.

A clean-up operation was launched at 6am yesterday and it could take three or four days to clear the spill, he said. — Bernama