India signs shipping information exchange pact

Updated - December 12, 2018 01:08 am IST

Published - December 12, 2018 01:05 am IST - New Delhi

India has signed an agreement to join the Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN), aimed at exchange of information on the movement of commercial traffic on the high seas.

Commodore K.M. Ramakrishnan signed the agreement on behalf of the Navy at the Italian Naval Headquarters in Rome on Monday, the Navy said on Twitter.

The network is composed of 30 countries and is steered by Italy.

The information is available primarily through the Automatic Identification System (AIS) fitted on merchant ships with more than 300 Gross Registered Tonnage, as mandated by the International Maritime Organisation. The AIS information, comprising the name, MMSI number, position, course, speed, last port of call and destination, can be picked up through AIS sensors.

“The Indian Navy is mandated to conclude white shipping information exchange agreements with 36 countries and three multi-national constructs,” an official source said. So far, 19 agreements have been signed, and 12 of them have been operationalised. India has also set up a large network of coastal chain radars that track sea and ocean traffic.

These multilateral agreements are necessitated by the large traffic in the Indian Ocean that cannot be entirely monitored by any one nation.

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