Mohamad Shawkat Hossain, Mazlan Hashim


Malaysia is one of the leading maritime countries surrounded by the South China Sea. Since the emergence of Maritime Silk Road (MSR) concept and its operational implementation, economic growth, development and cooperation, particularly in the context of Southeast Asia (SEA) including Malaysia has enhanced, but simultaneously traffic congestion and tensions in the South China Sea through claiming Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by the law enforcing agencies of the regional countries have increased. To trade China within SEA, has to follow longer shipping route, linking the mainland of China with ports throughout the Middle East, traversing the South China Sea. Given there are many uncharted and emerging islands in the South China Sea, that still undetected and therefore, delineation of these island boundaries could be a major step forward in reducing maritime tensions. An integrated MSR network plan can be developed through recognizing those islands as potential EEZ for the related regional countries based on international water boundary law suits. The set of initiatives recommended in this paper gives strategic focus to – how earth observatory (EO) data can be used in (1) delineating emerging islands, (2) designing and developing coastal infrastructural facilities, and (3) protecting the integrity of the maritime environment. The future study can emphasize on investigating the potential usefulness of EO data, inter alia optical and radar for mapping emerging islands, possibilities of appearing islands in future based on shallowness predicted from bathymetric and sedimentation data analysis, and forecast opportunities and risks of using those as MSR transportations. The environmental risks associated with water pollution, degradation of coastal habitats, and marine ecosystem health and vulnerabilities can be assessed by analysing current and historical EO data. The particular emphasis should be given on protecting environmental pollution in the effort to introduce the philosophy of sustainable development in the local maritime sector.


Earth observatory data, Maritime Silk Road, South East Asia, emerging island, EEZ, maritime pollutions

Full Text:



Schottenhammer, A. 2012. The “China Seas” in World History: A General Outline of the Role of Chinese and East Asian Maritime Space from Its Origins to C. 1800. Journal of Marine and Island Cultures. 1(2): 63-86.

Sulistiyono, S. T., and Y. Rochwulaningsih. 2013. Contest for Hegemony: The Dynamics of Inland and Maritime Cultures Relations in the History Of Java Island, Indonesia. Journal of Marine and Island Cultures. 2(2): 115-127.

Valencia, M. J., K. Akimoto. 2006. Guidelines for Navigation and Overflight in the Exclusive Economic Zone. Marine Policy. 30(6): 704-711.

Owen, N. A., and C. H. Schofield. 2012. Disputed South China Sea Hydrocarbons in Perspective. Marine Policy. 36(3): 809-822.

Koh, L. P., C. J. Kettle, D. Sheil, T. M. Lee, X. Giam, L. Gibson, and G. R. Clements. 2013. Biodiversity State and Trends in Southeast Asia, in: S.A. Levin (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. The Netherlands: Elsevier-Amsterdam. 509-527.

Walther, B. A., C. Boëte, A. Binot, Y. By, J. Cappelle, J. Carrique-Mas, M. Chou, N. Furey, S. Kim, C. Lajaunie, S. Lek, P. Méral, M. Neang, B.-H. Tan, C. Walton, and S. Morand. 2016. Biodiversity and Health: Lessons and Recommendations from an Interdisciplinary Conference to Advise Southeast Asian Research, Society and Policy. Infection, Genetics and Evolution. 40: 29-46.

Sherman, K. 2014. Adaptive Management Institutions at the Regional Level: The Case of Large Marine Ecosystems. Ocean & Coastal Management. 90: 38-49.

Stacey, N., J. Karam, M. Jackson, R. Kennett, and T. Wagey. 2015. Knowledge Exchange as a Tool for Transboundary and Coastal Management of the Arafura and Timor Seas. Ocean & Coastal Management. 114: 151-163.

Lee, J. S. H., Z. Jaafar, A. K. J. Tan, L. R. Carrasco, J. J. Ewing, D. P. Bickford, E. L. Webb, and L. P. Koh. 2016. Toward Clearer Skies: Challenges in Regulating Transboundary Haze in Southeast Asia. Environmental Science & Policy. 55(Part 1): 87-95.

Diop, S., R. Arthurton, P. Scheren, J. Kitheka, K. Koranteng, and R. Payet. 2011. The Coastal and Marine Environment of Western and Eastern Africa: Challenges to Sustainable Management and Socioeconomic Development. E. Wolanski, D. McLusky (Eds.). Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science. Academic Press-Waltham. 315-335.

Ramesh, R., A. Lakshmi, and R. Purvaja. 2011. Integrated Coastal and Estuarine Management in South and Southeast Asia. E. Wolanski, D. McLusky (Eds.). Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science. Academic Press-Waltham. 227-263.

Hagen, M., W. D. Kissling, C. Rasmussen, M. A. M. De Aguiar, L. E. Brown, D. W. Carstensen, I. Alves-Dos-Santos, Y. L. Dupont, F. K. Edwards, J. Genini, P. R. Guimarães Jr., G. B. Jenkins, P. Jordano, C. N. Kaiser-Bunbury, M. E. Ledger, K. P. Maia, F. M. D. Marquitti, Ó. Mclaughlin, L. P. C. Morellato, E. J. O’Gorman, K. Trøjelsgaard, J. M. Tylianakis, M. M. Vidal, G. Woodward, and J. M. Olesen. 2012. Biodiversity, Species Interactions and Ecological Networks in a Fragmented World. Advances in Ecological Research. 46: 89-210.

Hossain, M. S., J. S. Bujang, M. H. Zakaria, and M. Hashim. 2015. The Application of Remote Sensing to Seagrass Ecosystems: An Overview and Future Research Prospects. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 36(1): 61-114.

Hansen, M. C., and T. R. Loveland. 2012. A Review of Large Area Monitoring of Land Cover Change Using Landsat Data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 122: 66-74.

Chiau, W.-Y. 1998. Coastal Zone Management in Taiwan: A Review. Ocean & Coastal Management. 38(2): 119-132.

Torres-Pulliza, D., J. R. Wilson, A. Darmawan, S. J. Campbell, and S. Andréfouët. 2013. Ecoregional Scale Seagrass Mapping: A Tool to Support Resilient MPA Network Design in the Coral Triangle. Ocean & Coastal Management. 80: 55-64.

Roelfsema, C., E. M. Kovacs, M. I. Saunders, S. Phinn, M. Lyons, and P. Maxwell. 2013. Challenges of Remote Sensing for Quantifying Changes in Large Complex Seagrass Environments. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 133: 161-171.

Shicun, W. 1991. China’s Sovereignty Claims Over the Nansha Islands: A Legal Perspective. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law. 23(3): 399-420.

Druel, E., and K. M. Gjerde. 2014. Sustaining Marine Life Beyond Boundaries: Options for an Implementing Agreement for Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Marine Policy. 49: 90-97.

Hutchison, C. S., and V.R. Vijayan. 2010. What are the Spratly Islands? Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 39: 371-385.

Valero, G. M. C. 1994. Spratly Archipelago Dispute: Is the Question of Sovereignty Still Relevant? Marine Policy 18(4): 314-344.

Zhang, Z. 2011. China’s Energy Security, the Malacca Dilemma and Responses. Energy Policy. 39(12): 7612-7615.

Suntoyo, D. M. Rosyid, M. B. Zaman, E. Kobayashi, N. Wakabayashi, and A. Maimun. 2015. Risk of Navigation for Marine Traffic in the Malacca Strait using AIS. Procedia Earth and Planetary Science. 14: 33-40.

Fingas, M., and C. Brown. 2014. Review of Oil Spill Remote Sensing. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 83(1): 9-23.

Chua, T.-E., and J. A. Mathias. 1978. Coastal Resources of West Sabah : An Investigation into the Impact of Oil Spill, Rev. ed. Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia-Pulau Pinang.

Veenstra, T. S., and J. H. Churnside. 2012. Airborne Sensors for Detecting Large Marine Debris at Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 65(1-3): 63-68.

Özşahin, M., A. Bulis, and R. Skapars. 2014. Development of “New Silk Road” Northern Branch through Seaport of Riga in Latvia. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences. 150: 1222-1229.

Heckbert, S., R. Costanza, E.S. Poloczanska, and A. J. Richardson. 2011. Climate Regulation as a Service from Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems. E. Wolanski, D. McLusky (Eds.). Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science Academic Press-Waltham. 199-216.

Heenan, A., R. Pomeroy, J. Bell, P.L. Munday, W. Cheung, C. Logan, R. Brainard, A. Y. Amri, P. Aliño, N. Armada, L. David, R. Rivera-Guieb, S. Green, J. Jompa, T. Leonardo, S. Mamauag, B. Parker, J. Shackeroff, and Z. Yasin. 2015. A Climate-informed, Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management. Marine Policy. 57: 182-192.

Yue, Y., Z. Zheng, K. Huang, M. Chevalier, B. M. Chase, M. Carré, M.-P. Ledru, and R. Cheddadi. 2012. A Continuous Record of Vegetation and Climate Change Over the Past 50,000 Years in the Fujian Province Of Eastern Subtropical China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 365-366: 115-123.

Chakraborty, A., P. K. Joshi, A. Ghosh, and G. Areendran. 2013. Assessing Biome Boundary Shifts Under Climate Change Scenarios In India. Ecological Indicators. 34: 536-547.

Poloczanska, E. S., C. J. Limpus, and G. C. Hays. 2009. Advances in Marine Biology. Academic Press. 151-211.

Ahmed, N., and M. Glaser. 2016. Coastal Aquaculture, Mangrove Deforestation and Blue Carbon Emissions: Is REDD+ a Solution?. Marine Policy. 66: 58-66.

M. Björk, F. T. Short, E. McLeod, and S. Beer. 2008. Managing Seagrasses for Resilience to Climate Change. Switzerland: IUCN Resilience Science Group-Gland.

Lee, T.-C., J. S. L. Lam, and P. T.-W. Lee. 2016. Asian Economic Integration and Maritime CO2 Emissions. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. 43: 226-237.

Looi, L. J., A. Z. Aris, W. L. W. Johari, F. M. Yusoff, and Z. Hashim. 2013. Baseline Metals Pollution Profile of Tropical Estuaries and Coastal Waters of the Straits of Malacca. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 74(1): 471-476.

Sun, Q., D. Tang, and S. Wang. 2012. Remote-sensing Observations Relevant to Ocean Acidification. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 33(23): 7542-7558.

Misbari, S., and M. Hashim. 2016. Change Detection of Submerged Seagrass Biomass in Shallow Coastal Water. Remote Sensing. 8(3): 200.

Mcleod, E., G. L. Chmura, S. Bouillon, R. Salm, M. Björk, C. M. Duarte, C. E. Lovelock, W. H. Schlesinger, and B. R. Silliman. 2011. A Blueprint for Blue Carbon: Toward an Improved Understanding of the Role of Vegetated Coastal Habitats in Sequestering CO2. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 9(10): 552-560.

Darecki, M., and D. Stramski. 2014. An Evaluation of MODIS and SeaWiFS Bio-optical Algorithms in the Baltic Sea. Remote Sensing of Environment. 89(3): 326-350.

Macreadie, P. I., M. E. Baird, S. M. Trevathan-Tackett, A. W. D. Larkum, and P. J. Ralph. 2014. Quantifying and Modelling the Carbon Sequestration Capacity of Seagrass Meadows–A Critical Assessment. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 83(2): 430-439.

Sasekumar, A., C. M. U. Leh, V. C. Chong, D. Rebecca, and M. L. Audcry. 1989. The Sungai Pulai (Johor): A Unique Mangrove Estuary. S. M. Phang, A. Sasekumar, S. Vickineswary (Eds.). Research Priorities for Marine Sciences in the 90’s, Malaysia: Malaysian Society of Marine Science-Kuala Lumpur. 191-211.

Yu, D., and S. Han. 2016. Ecosystem Service Status and Changes of Degraded Natural Reserves – A Study from the Changbai Mountain Natural Reserve. China, Ecosystem Services. 20: 56-65.

Béné, C., M. Phillips, and E. H. Allison. 2011. The Forgotten Service: Food as an Ecosystem Service from Estuarine and Coastal Zones, in: E. Wolanski, D. McLusky (Eds.). Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science. Academic Press-Waltham. 147-180.

Ghermandi, A., P. A. L. D. Nunes, R. Portela, N. Rao, and S. S. Teelucksingh. 2011. Recreational, Cultural, and Aesthetic Services from Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems, in: E. Wolanski, D. McLusky (Eds.). Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science, Academic Press-Waltham. 217-237.

Costanza, R., R. d’Arge, R. de Groot, S. Farber, M. Grasso, B. Hannon, K. Limburg, S. Naeem, R. V O’Neill, J. Paruelo, R.G. Raskin, P. Sutton, and M. van den Belt. 1997. The Value of the World’s Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital. Nature. 387(6630): 253-260.

Blaber, S. J. M. 2011. Removals (Wild Harvesting) of the Biological Resources from Systems. E. Wolanski, D. McLusky (Eds.). Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science, Academic Press-Waltham. 253-275.

Acharya, R., and J. Mugabe. 1996. Biotechnology In Developing Countries: Critical Issues of Technological Capability Building. Biotechnology Annual Review. 2: 465-504.

Harnedy, P. A., and R. J. FitzGerald. 2012. Bioactive Peptides from Marine Processing Waste and Shellfish: A Review. Journal of Functional Foods. 4(1): 6-24.

Kendrick, G. A., and P. S. Lavery. 2001. Assessing Biomass, Assemblage Structure and Productivity of Algal Epiphytes on Seagrasses. F. T. Short, R. G. Coles (Eds.). Global Seagrass Research Methods, Elsevier-Amsterdam. 199-222.

Giri, C., J. Long, S. Abbas, R. M. Murali, F. M. Qamer, B. Pengra, and D. Thau. 2015. Distribution and Dynamics of Mangrove Forests of South Asia. Journal of Environmental Management. 148: 101-111.

Hossain, M. S., J. S. Bujang, M. H. Zakaria, and M. Hashim. 2015. Application of Landsat Images to Seagrass Areal Cover Change Analysis for Lawas, Terengganu and Kelantan of Malaysia. Continental Shelf Research. 110: 124-148.

Mumby, P. J., W. Skirving, A. E. Strong, J. T. Hardy, E. F. LeDrew, E. J. Hochberg, R. P. Stumpf, and L. T. David. 2014. Remote Sensing of Coral Reefs and Their Physical Environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 48(3-4): 219-228.

Jiang, Y., and X. Xue. 2015. Building a Cross-strait Cooperation Mechanism for the Conservation and Management of Fishery Resources in the South China Sea. Ocean & Coastal Management. 116: 318-330.

Thomsen, M. S., T. Wernberg, A. H. Engelen, F. Tuya, M. A. Vanderklift, M. Holmer, K. J. McGlathery, F. Arenas, J. Kotta, and B. R. Silliman. 2012. A Meta-analysis of Seaweed Impacts on Seagrasses: Generalities And Knowledge gaps. PLoS ONE. 7(1): 1-8.

Ooi, J.L.S., G.A. Kendrick, K.P. Van Niel, and Y.A. Affendi. 2011. Knowledge gaps in tropical Southeast Asian seagrass systems. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 92(1): 118–131.

Tan, K.S., E. Acerbi, and F.M. Lauro. 2016. Marine habitats and biodiversity of Singapore’s coastal waters: A review. Regional Studies in Marine Science. 8(Part 2): 340-352



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2012 Penerbit UTM Press, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
Disclaimer : This website has been updated to the best of our knowledge to be accurate. However, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused by the usage of any information obtained from this web site.
Best viewed: Mozilla Firefox 4.0 & Google Chrome at 1024 × 768 resolution.