Indo-Pacific Current Affairs - 2019
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Chief of Naval Operations of US Navy, Admiral John Michael Richardson is on a three day official tour to India. The tour is scheduled from 12 to 14 May 2019 and during his visit he will meet Indian Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba in New Delhi.
- Purpose: Admiral John Richardson visit to India is amid rising Chinese influence in Indo-Pacific region. This is part of US strategy of grouping together with like-minded countries like India, South Korea, Australia and Japan to make sure that each Indo-Pacific nation can protect its sovereignty from coercion. It refers to coercive activities undertaken by China in South China Sea (SCS) which have become a flashpoint for US-China relations in Asia.
- Aim: The visit by US Navy Chief is intended to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and USA and as well as explore new avenues for naval cooperation between two nations.
- Discussions: Major issues to be discussed during visit include information exchange, capacity building, operations and exercises, capability enhancement and training interactions.
- Significance: The visit emphasizes the importance of information sharing and exchange between two defence partners. This will further strengthen strategic partnership between the Indian Navy and US Navy.
India-US Defence Relation
- India-US ties has seen a significant growth in recent years.
- In 2016, USA accorded India a Major Defence Partner status.
- In September 2018 the inaugural Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue conducted between two nations (India and US), facilitated new avenues for defence cooperation among them.
- Indian Navy and US Navy interact regularly at various bilateral and multilateral forums. They also participate in several maritime exercises like MALABAR and RIMPAC.
- Other than Defence Exercise many Regular Subject Matter Expert exchange also takes place between both navies to establish interoperability in various fields.
Tags: Admiral John Michael Richardson • Chief of Naval Operations of US Navy • Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba • India-US • India-USA • Indo-Pacific • Major Defence Partner • Malabar Exercise • Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue • RIMPAC Exercise • South China Sea
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.