To generate an overarching Maritime Domain Awareness picture to assist the maritime community in better understanding of the maritime challenges and threats in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) region, the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC- IOR) publishes a Monthly Maritime Security Update (MMSU).
This monthly report covers various aspects and analysis that contribute to generating a comprehensive picture which include cases of Piracy and Armed robbery, maritime Terrorism, Contraband smuggling, Irregular Human trafficking, Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, maritime incidents, natural events and events related to environmental security.
As per the latest report MMSU published by the IFC IOR and can be accessed at https://www.indiannavy.nic.in/ifc-ior/IFC_IOR_MMSU_MAR%2021.pdf, a total of 275 incidents were monitored in the wider Indian Ocean Region in the month of March 2021. The majority of the incidents recorded were Maritime incidents (approximately 33%) were followed by Contraband Smuggling (77), Irregular Human Migration (56), Piracy and Armed Robbery (17) and IUU Fishing (39).
Another important facet of the IFC IOR is to monitor maritime traffic in IOR. This also corroborates the data which is being exchanged with partner countries with whom the Indian Govt has entered into White Shipping Information Exchange agreements. Almost all the IOR littorals and countries beyond IOR have such arrangements with India.
The mutual collaboration is further enhanced with the presence of International Liaison Officers (ILOs) from partners nations positioned at the IFC-IOR. Presently, the centre has officers from the USA, France and Australia and many more are likely to join as and when the situation improves post-COVID-19.
Analysis of the data reveals that approximately 1,22,000 vessels were observed to be operating in the region in 2021, which means that at any given instant, an average of 19,000-20,000 distinct vessels has been observed to be transiting through IOR.