In 1989, a tanker carrying 5 tonnes of the pesticide Lindane manufactured in France sank in the English Channel en route to cocoa plantations in Indonesia.
Set up in 2002 following the sinking of the Erika, the European Maritime Safety Agency is responsible for assisting the Commission in monitoring the implementation of EU legislation on security and safety at sea. In 2004, EU legislation gave the European Maritime Safety Agency a mandate to combat pollution caused by ships. In 2005, the European Commission proposed a financial package of EUR 154 million over a period of seven years for the European Maritime Safety Agency to allow it to combat pollution caused by ships. The funds are intended to strengthen the capability of the Member States to respond to pollution caused by oil and other substances using specialised anti-pollution vessels and develop satellite images to detect pollution in good time. These resources would also underpin efforts by the Member States to prevent illegal discharges and accidental spillages of oil.