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- Context (TH): INS Chennai successfully averted hijacking a merchant vessel near the Somalian coast.
- Somalia, with a history of civil war and poor territorial protection, remains a hotspot for maritime piracy.
- The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines maritime piracy as kidnapping, violence, or robbery on a private boat or ship for personal gain.
Impacts of maritime piracy
- Physical Harm, Kidnapping and Associated Humanitarian Concerns result in trauma and accidents.
- Delays in consignments and economic losses lead to global effects.
- Targeting fishing vessels affects the livelihoods of fishermen and the availability of seafood.
- Piracy is part of a worldwide organised crime network leading to the financing of illegal activities.
Steps to Counter Maritime Piracy
- The Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) and Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) work in maritime security.
- The Maritime Anti-Piracy Act of 2022 was legislated to give effect to arrest and prosecute pirates and strengthen the fight against piracy.
- The SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) initiative provides a framework for maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
- Indian Ocean Naval Symposium is an initiative to increase maritime cooperation among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), an intergovernmental organisation, works for maritime security in the Indian Ocean.
- The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations developing and adopting international regulations and standards for maritime safety.
- INS Chennai (D65) is the third and last ship of the Kolkata-class stealth-guided missile destroyers of the Indian Navy.
- It was constructed by the Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.
- INS Chennai can carry the supersonic BrahMos surface-to-surface missile system.
- The Marine Commandos (MARCOS), officially called the Marine Commando Force (MCF), are the special forces of the Indian Navy.
- MARCOS was founded in 1987. MARCOS can operate in all environments: at sea, in air and on land.
- The MARCOS also regularly undertake specialised maritime operations in Jammu and Kashmir through the Jhelum River and Wular Lake.