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Anti Piracy Operations
Anti Piracy Operations
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has grown steadily over the years. A large percentage of India's trade, including oil and fertilizers, passes through the Gulf of Aden. The ministry of shipping has estimated that, Indian imports and exports through the Gulf of Aden route were valued at several billion dollars. The safety and unhindered continuity of maritime trade, through ships that transit through this route, is a primary national concern as it directly impacts our economy. About 20-24 Indian flagged merchant ships transit the Gulf of Aden every month. Although this accounts for only 13% of our trade (the remainder is carried in foreign 'bottoms'), the crew of the most foreign flagged vessels comprise Indian nationals, as India's large seafaring community accounts for nearly 7% of the world's seafarers.
Consequently, to protect Indian ships and Indian citizens employed in sea- faring duties, Indian Navy commenced Anti-Piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden from 23 Oct 08. In addition to escorting Indian flagged ships, ships of other countries have also been escorted. Merchant ships are currently being escorted along the entire length of the (490 nm long and 20 nm wide) Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) that has been promulgated for use by all merchant vessels. During its deployments for Anti - Piracy operations, the Indian Naval ships have prevented 40 piracy attempts on merchant vessels.
|Naval Boarding Party approaches Pirate Boat||Pirates on Board|
Cooperation on Anti-Piracy Operations
Exchange of Information
Although, a number of naval ships from various countries are being employed in the area for counter piracy missions, there was initially very limited exchange of piracy related information between them. To facilitate sharing of information a Counter Piracy “Shared Awareness and De-confliction (SHADE)” mechanism was initiated, so that, the forces deployed for these operations can exchange piracy related unclassified information through
the web-based MERCURY Net. SHADE meetings are held at Bahrain and offer the Indian Navy an opportunity to interact with representatives from other navies and remain apprised of the latest initiatives being taken to avoid piracy in the Gulf of Aden. An operational update is also provided by various multinational forces and representatives from merchant shipping community.
New Registration by Merchant Ships for Escort by IN Ships
Director General, Shipping has recently launched a web-based registration service (www.dgshipping.com) where merchant ships can register with DG Shipping in order to avail Anti-Piracy escort by IN ships in the Gulf of Aden. Using this service, the users can access the Anti-Piracy escort schedule of the Indian Navy and then request for inclusion in a particular escort cycle.