Maritime Piracy Current Affairs

High-risk area boundary of maritime piracy shifted from India’s western coastline

High-risk area (HRA) boundary of maritime Piracy has been shifted from 78 degrees East to the 65 degrees East longitude off India’s western coastline.

Decision in this regard was taken by European Union Chair of the Contact Group of Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and will come into effect from December 1, 2015.

Background

  • The HRA boundary was shifted from 65o E to 78o E longitude after surge in number of piracy cases from 2008 to 2013 off the east coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden i.e. near Horn of Africa (East Africa).
  • This decision was considered as an unwarranted encroachment into India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
  • However, there was significant drop in the sea piracy cases since 2012 and it was all time low in 2014 due to collective efforts of Indian and International defence forces.
  • Since 2013, Indian shipping regulators and defence forces were lobbying to redraw the eastern limit of the HRA as it was threat to its maritime security.

Implications

  • Economic: Reduce in insurance premium paid by shipping companies for security purpose against piracy.
  • Consequently huge savings for India’s EXIM (export-import) trade and Indian consumers on account of reduced freight cost due to less insurance premium.
  • Maritime Security: It will be not jeopardized as there will be shift of International maritime traffic density along the western Indian coastline which earlier had led to maritime congestion.
  • Earlier, the presences of unregulated foreign owned floating armouries on shipping vessels near India’s coastline were potential threat to Indian maritime security interests.
  • It will also stop clashes between Indian fishermen and security guards of big vessels. Earlier there have been cases of firing by such security guards on Indian fishing boats and some India fishermen have lost their lives.

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