Projects to Track Small Fishing Vessels
- 15 Nov 2022
- 4 min read
Why in News?
Recently, it has been reported that projects launched to track small fishing vessels along India’s coast are making progress.
- The third edition of the ‘pan-India’ coastal defence Exercise Sea Vigil-22 is also scheduled to be held on 15th-16th November to test coastal security.
What are Different Projects to Track Small Fishing Vessels?
- Automatic Identification System:
- An Automatic Identification System (AIS) was made compulsory for all vessels above 20 metres after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
- The decision was taken by the National Committee on Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security, set up to look into issues related to coastal security.
- However, for vessels under 20 metres, the process has been delayed for several reasons.
- Vehicle Management System:
- The Vehicle Management System (VMS) has advanced features and enables two-way communication. The technology has been handed over to four companies for commercial production.
- Trials were conducted in association with the Indian Space Research Organisation on one of their communication satellites last year along the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
- Verification and monitoring of a large number of fishing vessels in India has been greatly eased by the creation of the online ReALCraft (Registration and Licensing of Fishing Craft).
- Biometric Identity Cards:
- Issuance of biometric identity cards to the majority of fishermen and composite card readers to the maritime security agencies has been done to enable biometric verification of the identity of fishing vessel crews at sea.
- Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA):
- As part of overall efforts for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) on the high seas, the Quad grouping, at the Tokyo summit 2022 announced an ambitious Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative to track “dark shipping” and build a “faster, wider, and more accurate maritime picture of near-real-time activities in partners’ waters” integrating three critical regions in the Indo-Pacific - the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
What is Exercise Sea Vigil?
- The inaugural edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2019.
- It is billed as India's largest coastal defence drill.
- The exercise is a build up towards the major Theatre Level Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX), which the Indian Navy conducts every two years.
- 2022 Edition:
- Exercise Sea Vigil-22 will provide realistic assessment of India’s strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security.
- The exercise will see activation of the coastal security apparatus across India and is being conducted by the Indian Navy in coordination with Coast Guard and other Ministries entrusted with the task of maritime activities.
- The exercise will be undertaken along the entire 7,516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and will involve all the Coastal States and Union territories along with other maritime stakeholders, including the fishing and coastal communities.
- Sea Vigil and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including transition from peace to conflict.
- It provides opportunity, at the apex level, to assess the country’s preparedness in the domain of maritime security and coastal defence.