Marine Eco-concern and its Impact on the Indian Maritime Strategy

The author is a serving Commander in the Indian Navy and is presently posted onboard a Coast Guard Platform as Electrical Officer. He was commissioned into the Electrical Branch of the Indian Navy in 1994. He has a Masters in Underwater Electronics and PhD in Underwater Signal Processing from IIT-Delhi. His operational ASW experience ranges from an Assistant Electrical Officer (ASW) appointment onboard a frontline destroyer (1997) to a Project Manager (R&D) appointment at the Underwater Ranges (2009). He can be contacted on
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  • April 2014

    Maritime strategic planning cannot be done in isolation of marine eco-concerns. Marine species are known to perceive the environment around them through acoustic signals, and depend on sound for numerous functions like foraging, communication and navigation. Noise as a pollutant has found scant reference in the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) document of 1982—the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS). The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is yet to include noise as a pollutant in its 1978 MARPOL Convention. The enthusiasm for so-called economic growth and related activities in the absence of a regulatory framework encourages indiscriminate rise in such activities and the resultant increase in the anthropogenic noise, with disastrous impact on the acoustic habitat. A more inclusive maritime strategy is thus called for. In this article, the author presents a unique dimension for Indian maritime strategy.

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