The littoral nations of Singapore and Malacca Straits (SOMS) have signed an agreement for phase two of a hydrographic survey of the busy waterway.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia at the 10th Cooperative Forum in East Malaysia this week. The survey will also be supported by the Malacca Straits Council of Japan.

Continuing from phase one of the survey the second phase will cover areas of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Straits that are lower than 30 m in depth. The data will be used to create large scale, up-to-date navigational charts of the Straits.

“The Joint Hydrographic Survey for the SOMS will allow navigational charts to be updated with the latest nautical information and help improve navigational safety in one of the world’s most well-used waterways,” said Andrew Tan, chief executive of the MPA.

One of the world’s busiest waterways the SOMS saw close to 84,000 vessel transits in 2016.