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IndiaUS Naval Cooperation

Counter-piracy operations Last Saturday in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, the 16th annual "Malabar" exercise started, as part of ongoing cooperation between U.S. and Indian military forces. These 10 days joint exercises will consist of both ashore and at-sea trainings, including seminars on air defence, carrier aviation operations, integrated anti-submarine warfare operations and counter-piracy operations, ending on April 16th.The U.S. naval budget has undergone cuts and the resizing of the naval fleet since 2006 has led to significant reductions in ships number, despite news of future increases.India recently increased military expenditure with the purchase of two Russian-built nuclear submarines and plans to further strengthen anti submarines capabilities. China's increased military and naval capabilities explain India's attractiveness as a partner for the U.S. in the region.Source: Neptune Maritime Security

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Indian maritime environment fragile

According to the Indian Coast Guard Sending out an early warning to the country's security establishments about the prevailing conditions on the high seas, a senior Coast Guard official on Thursday said that the Indian maritime environment was 'fragile.' Addressing a gathering of past and future mariners during the culmination of 49th National Maritime Day celebrations here, Inspector General Satya Prakash Sharma, Commander of Coast Guard (East Region), said, "Not many incidents of sea piracy and petty thefts on board vessels on Indian waters were being reported to the Indian Coast Guard as much as they were reported with international organisations outside the country.""I am pained to inform you that not on many occasions, these incidents (of piracy and petty thefts encountered at mid-sea) get reported at the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) of the Indian Coast Guard," Sharma said.However, instant communication (about such events) is made to the Piracy Reporting Centre of the IMB (International Maritime Bureau) at Kuala Lumpur and ReCAAP (Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia) of Singapore, the Commander said."It is important for us to neutralise any such incidents instantly rather than give it wide publicity as it ...

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Guidance on fishing activities off the Indian coast

Notice re mistaking fishing boats with pirate skiffs Following a recent incident where armed guards on board a tanker off the Indian Coast mistakenly fired at a fishing vessel, the Indian Director General of Shipping has published Merchant Shipping Notice No. 7 of 2012 "Navigation off the Indian coast - transgressing of fishing nets - mistaking fishing boats with pirate skiffs".The Notice contains general guidance on fishing activities off the Indian coast, including a warning that fishing vessels may head towards ships they believe may be approaching their nets in an effort to alert the bridge watchkeeping officer.In addition, vessels with armed guards are urged to report their presence to the Indian Navy / Indian Coastguard when within India's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). India's EEZ currently extends 200 nautical miles from the coast and may be extended in due course subject to a decision by the United Nations.Members are advised to forward the information contained in the Merchant Shipping Notice to their vessels if there is a possibility that they may enter India's EEZ with armed guards on board.Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department.Source: The West of England P&I Club

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SOS Campaign calls on India to support its seafarers

India to support its 120,000 Indian seafarers The campaign is using the country's celebration of its seafarers to remind Indians of the continuing threat faced by its 120,000 seafarers and their families.Alastair Evitt, chairman of SOS SaveOurSeafarers, says:"Despite the international community's strenuous efforts to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the world's seafarers continue to face the fear and anguish of attack in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, while going about their job of keeping world trade moving through this area."India has the second largest seafaring population and the second largest nationality held by Somali pirates. Out of 256 seafarers currently hijacked, kidnapped and held on their vessels by Somali pirates, 65 are Indian. Moreover out of the 40 additional seafarers being held ashore, with no ship to be ransomed, at least 7 are Indian. Hostages suffer both physically and psychologically while being held prisoners for ransom, and their families also suffer huge anguish for their loved ones."Since the launch of the SOS campaign last March, we have played a significant role in increasing awareness and interest worldwide of the realities of Somali piracy. We have helped to persuade governments to show more determined political will in ...

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India: Emission Norms for Shipping

Regulating GHG emissions The Indian Ministry of Shipping issued a press release stating that it has initiated necessary steps for survey/inspection of Indian ships to ensure compliance with IMO mandatory measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from international shipping as follows:International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted mandatory measures to reduce emissions of Green House Gases (GHGs) from international shipping. For this purpose a new chapter on energy efficiency of ships has been added to the Annex VI of the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). India is a party to this Convention. These measures include, inter-alia, provision for Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships, which will improve the energy efficiency of ships. With respect to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), the Directorate General of Shipping has initiated necessary steps for survey/inspection of Indian ships to ensure compliance. This information was given by the Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India

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Fire Breaks Out on Board MT Royal Diamond 7

At Mumbai harbour The Times of India reports that a fire broke out on Saturday, March 24, on board of Korean 9500 DWT chemical tanker 'Royal Diamond 7′ at Mumbai harbour injuring seven people."At 11.25 am, the Korean owned 9500 DWT chemical tanker 'Royal Diamond 7′ reported to the Mumbai port's vessel traffic system/control station that an explosion had occurred and three crew members have been injured," Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) press statement said.Upon receipt of information about the fire, it was ensured that the victims were brought to shore and provided with necessary medical assistance. Relevant port officials, membered by deputy conservator and the harbour master of the port were sent immediately to the spot to personally see that the fire is put out and that safety is restored to the harbour.MPT officials reported that two of the injured have sustained serious injuries.Source: World Maritime News

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Iran-bound Brazilian sugar ship hijacked off India

With 23 crew on board TheEglantine, which according to Reuters shipping data loaded in Rio de Janeiro in late February, was hijacked off India's southwest coast by suspected Somali pirates, NATO's counter-piracy mission said.Armed pirate gangs are making millions of dollars in ransoms and are able to stay out at sea for long periods using captured merchant vessels as mother ships. The shipping security crisis costs world trade billions of dollars each year.Attacks as far away from Somalia as Monday's hijacking are rare. Although NATO, EU and Iranian naval forces are trying to protect merchant shipping, the Indian Ocean is too big for them to effectively patrol all of it."It is very far east from Somalia," a spokeswoman for the NATO Shipping Centre said.The U.S. has identified the vessel as being operated by Iranian government shipping companies blacklisted by Washington.Iran is expected to import 1.6 million tonnes of sugar in 2011-12, according to the International Sugar Organization.However, Western sanctions have made it difficult for Iran to pay for basic foods through the global banking system, even though foodstuffs are not targeted by the sanctions.The vessel was carrying over 63,000 tonnes of cargo when it left Brazil, the world's biggest sugar ...

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India asks Iran to bear oil insurance risk amid sanctions

Indian oil buyers are asking Iran to bear the insurance risk for transporting its crude Indian oil buyers are asking Iran to bear the insurance risk for transporting its crude as tighter Western sanctions make it more difficult to buy Tehran's principal export, industry sources said on Wednesday.The number of maritime firms willing to transport Iranian crude has dwindled significantly since the European Union announced in January it would proceed with an oil embargo, leaving Asian oil buyers to rely more on Iranian-owned tankers.With Indian shipping firms uncertain whether they can continue transporting Iranian oil, state-run Indian Oil Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp have written to the National Iran Oil Corp (NIOC) asking the company to take on the insurance risk for their crude shipments, two industry sources said.NIOC has indicated it may consider the request on a case-by-case basis, the sources said.The United States has also imposed tougher sanctions against Iran for its disputed nuclear programme, prompting Japan and 10 EU nations to significantly cut purchases of Iranian crude oil in order to win exemptions.Washington, however, has left Iran's top customers China and India exposed to the possibility of such steps.The EU agreed to an oil embargo on Jan. ...

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India continues to hold Italian marines over fisherman shooting

Italian marines were sent back to an Indian jail for another two weeks Two Italian marines were sent back to an Indian jail for another two weeks over the fatal shooting of two fishermen off India's southern coast.Despite Italy's strong objections over India's detaining the marines, Chief Judicial Magistrate A.K. Gopakumar extended the marines' custody by 14 more days in the southern state of Kerala.The marines, who were providing anti-piracy security aboard a cargo ship, are accused of shooting the fishermen Feb. 15 after mistaking them for pirates off India's southwest coast.India says the fact that the shooting happened on an Indian boat gave it jurisdiction.Italy says the men should be tried in Italy under international maritime rules and warns that India's approach sets a dangerous precedent putting Indian military officers on anti-piracy missions could face similar risk of prosecution in foreign jurisdictions.The magistrate said he would consider the marines' plea for a television on Wednesday.Meanwhile, the ship they were working on, the Enrica Lexie, has been barred from leaving the coast.Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone were first detained Feb. 19 and have been held since March 5 in a special cell at the Central Prison in Thiruvanantapuram, separate from ...

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India: Major thrust to minor ports

Continuing with its efforts to cash in on the immense potential of minor ports Continuing with its efforts to cash in on the immense potential of minor ports across the state, the government has come up with a slew of measures. Focusing on industrial development of 17 minor ports in the state, the budget proposes to bring in a comprehensive shipping policy.The new policy is aimed at increasing coastal shipping activities, attracting more goods transport through vessels, creating more employment opportunities and reducing atmospheric pollution. It has been declared that the ports at Neendakara, Thalassery, Beypore, Kayamkulam, Vadakara, Kannur, Cheruvathoor, Neeleswaram, Kasargod, Manjeswaram, Azheekal, Vizhinjam, Thankassery, Kodungalloor and Munambam will be developed with infrastructure facilities.An amount of '247 crore has been allocated for the Ports Department for various initiatives. In a clear indication that the Port Department is also stepping into tourism promotion, the Finance Minister proposes to launch tourist transport services to Alappuzha. Tourist services will be operated from Fort Kochi in Ernakulam and Valiyathura in Thiruvananthapuram. There are proposals for developing marinas in Alappuzha and Thankassery ports. The budget has allocated ' 22 crore for Harbour Engineering Department.Source: Express News Service

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