Archive for the ‘Ocean’ Category

Mumbai: India’s Security From The Sea a Mix of Neglect, Apathy, Ineptitude

December 1, 2008

A lot is being said about the intelligence failure of central agencies and the Navy that led to the attack on Mumbai but a review made by the Centre recently on the status of patrolling of its maritime zones across eight coastal states revealed a sordid saga of neglect and apathy.

The Times of India

A report submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General to the government in October said that a central scheme to procure 26 patrol boats at a cost of Rs 25 crore for patrolling of exclusive fishing zones in the first 12 miles of the coastline of eight states was largely unfruitful.

The boats were “either not constructed or were lying idle and not being used for the intended purpose” while authorities even failed to carry out mid-course correction, it pointed out.

Read the rest:

France, Spain launch anti-piracy plan

November 2, 2008

DJIBOUTI (AFP) –The defense ministers of France and Spain on Sunday launched a European Union military operation to combat piracy off the Somali coast.

“This is the inception of the operation which will be formalized on November 10” at a meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels, French Defence Minister Herve Morin told reporters.

Accompanied by his Spanish counterpart Carme Chacon, he was speaking in Djibouti, where the pair were on a brief visit to assess multinational efforts to secure the strategic Somali waters and review their anti-piracy arsenal.

Both French and Spanish ships were among the at least 77 vessels attacked for ransom by Somali pirates since the start of the year.

What French President Nicolas Sarkozy has described as a “criminal industry” has threatened to disrupt world trade with relentless attacks in the Gulf of Aden, through which 30 percent of the world’s oil transits.

The high-profile case of the September capture by pirates of a Ukrainian cargo loaded with weapons apparently destined for southern Sudan has contributed in spurring the international community into action.

France, which has a major military base in neighboring Djibouti, is so far the only country to have used its firepower against the pirates in April and September operations following hostage-takings.

Spain has pledged two ships and one surveillance aircraft to the new operation, while France has opened its base to the Spanish forces for logistical support.

Morin said Britain would take the command of the joint force and added that other contributions from Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden were awaiting final confirmation.

NATO warships recently arrived in the region in a bid to secure the maritime delivery of food aid to the civilian population of Somalia, where a deadly civil conflict continues to rage.

Experts have warned however that sending foreign warships to such a vast area would hardly sound the death knell of Somali piracy, which has flourished in recent months.

Pirates argue that their attacks are in retaliation for the plundering of their water resources by foreign fishing navies and the dumping of toxic waste in their waters.

They often cite France and Spain as among the worst offenders on the issue of illegal fishing.