Indo-Pacific Current Affairs - 2019
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A study has shown that Fishing, coral reef degradation threaten parrotfish in Andaman.
Fact Box: Bumphead parrotfish
Scientific Name: Bolbometopon Muricatum
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Findings of the Study
- Protection of coral cover along the existing protected marine areas in the Andaman and Nicobar islands is necessary for the conservation of the endangered Bumphead Parrotfish.
- Large body size, aggregating behaviour and limited activity at night make Bumphead Parrotfish an easy target for spear-fishers.
- Further slow growth and low replacement rates have resulted in population declines across the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea regions.
- Bumphead Parrotfish occurs unevenly, with most sightings from only two islands, and with an apparently very small density.
- Freediving spear-fishers exclusively target the aggregations of this fish during the night.
- The presence of a protected area, live coral and algal cover, significantly influenced the distribution and abundance of Bumphead Parrot Fish.
- Incidental catch by fishers and degradation of coral reef habitats are two potential threats to the species.
The Study calls to ban night fishing for the species and to implement regulations regarding reef fishing.
The 9th India-Japan-US trilateral meeting was held in New Delhi and was represented by senior diplomats by three countries. It held consultations on regional and global issues of mutual interest and focussed on connectivity, counter-terrorism and other regional and global issues of common concern.
The trilateral countries agreed to continue to collaborate to promote increased connectivity in Indo-Pacific. They also agreed to remain engaged and strengthen cooperation in support for free, open, prosperous, peaceful and inclusive Indo-Pacific region through partnership with countries in region.
They also explored practical steps to enhance cooperation in areas of connectivity and infrastructure development, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, maritime security, maritime domain awareness and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA-DR). The trilateral emphasised on importance of keeping the sea lanes open, over India’s concern about maintaining freedom of navigation in South China Sea and western Pacific Ocean.
The India-Japan-US trilateral was launched in December 2011 when Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State. For first several rounds, the trilateral was held at director or assistant secretary level. It was elevated to ministerial level in 2015. The inaugural ministerial trilateral was held in September 2015 in New York on sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Session. It was hosted by then US Secretary of State John Kerry. It was also represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. The last ministerial dialogue was also held in New York, US in September 2017.