The 35th edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) between the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy was held from 17 to 18 December 2020. Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kulish, an indigenously built missile corvette and P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) participated with their Indonesian Naval counterparts. The Exercise is focused on preventing issues like Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, among others.
The Navies of India and Indonesia have been carrying out CORPAT exercise along their International Maritime Boundary Line since 2002. The exercise is held with the aim to ensure safety and security of shipping and international trade in the region. The exercise helps to suppress Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, armed robbery, maritime terrorism, piracy.
Background: SAGAR initiative
Under the Government of India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy is organising Coordinated Patrols and Multi-lateral exercises with countries in the Indian Ocean Region. The other activities held under SAGAR are Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance, enhancing regional maritime security, passage exercises.
Impacts of IUU Fishing on India
June 5 is celebrated as the International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, IUU fishing accounts to twenty-six million tonnes of fish every year. Lately, IUU fishing has emerged as a National Security Threat to India as it directly impacts food and economy of the coastal states. The threat is especially arising from China.
China has been operating distant water fishing fleets that often fish in the EEZ of other states. Thus, IUU has now become a security threat to National Sovereignty.
The increase of IUU fishing by China was confirmed by the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his address at the CII Partnership Summit recently. He also said that India is negotiating with the QUAD countries to put an end to IUU fishing in the Indo-Pacific region.