Why in News
- At the recent Quad Summit in Tokyo, the Indo-Pacific maritime domain awareness initiative was inaugurated.
What is it?
- It’s a regional project for information exchange and marine monitoring.
- The IPMDA would provide a maritime domain awareness image that is near-real-time, integrated, and cost-effective.
- It will help in humanitarian and natural catastrophe situations, as well as fight illicit fishing.
- It will also make it possible to trace “dark ships” across the Indo-Pacific area.
- It will cooperate with Indo-Pacific states and regional information fusion centres to assist and collaborate in the area.
- This programme will bring together three important Indo-Pacific regions: the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean Rim.
- The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) was inaugurated in 2018 within the premises of the Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram.
- The IMAC is the single point centre linking all the coastal radar chains to generate a seamless real-time picture of nearly 7,500-km coastline and of some neighbouring countries. It helps in tracking maritime movements in the region.
- It was created to facilitate regional cooperation on marine security challenges. Maritime terrorism, illicit, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF), piracy, armed robbery on the high seas, and human and contraband trafficking are all examples of this.
- The IFC-IOR seeks to collaborate with partner countries and multi-national marine organisations.
- The goal is to build a thorough understanding of the marine world and to share information on ships of interest (i.e., information on white shipping).
- The communication of advance information on the identification and movement of commercial non-military merchant boats is known as white shipping information.
- Commercial ships are coded in white, military ships are coded in grey, and illegal ships are coded in black.
- The IOR is critical to global trade and many countries’ economic development. The IOR is home to more than 75 percent of worldwide marine traffic and 50 percent of global oil consumption. Marine terrorism, piracy, trafficking, IUUF, arms trafficking, and poaching, on the other hand, pose several threats to the region’s maritime safety and security.
- Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF) is becoming a major problem. IUUF has recently been viewed as posing a greater danger to maritime governments than international piracy.
- The centre was formed as part of the government’s SAGAR framework for Indian Ocean marine cooperation.
- Infrastructure issues
- Long wait for Indian liaison officers to be posted at other sites and centres in the region.