Blue economy opportunities in Indian Ocean Region are significant: NDA Commandant

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PUNE: NDA Commandant Vice Admiral Ajay Kochhar has remarked that the opportunities for the blue economy are significant in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and India has a bright future in the sector.

Vice Admiral Kochhar was recently speaking during the second workshop of the four-workshop series titled ‘Institutionalized Skilling Ecosystems for Advanced Realization of Sagar Vision’ to drive the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) framework, organized by Pune based Maritime Research Centre (MRC) along with Indo-Swiss Centre for Excellence (ISCE) at the College of Engineering, Pune. He spoke on the topic ‘Maritime Governance and Matters Maritime’

Lt Gen (Retd) D B Shekatkar, POSHS Metal Industries Chairman Vikram Puri, MRC Founder-Director Commander (Retd) Arnab Das, and MRC Advisor Praful Talera were present on the occasion.

He also remarked that of late the Arabian Sea has become a hotbed of narcotics.

A new security challenge which has recently emerged; especially in our context on the western sea-board is narco-terrorism. Of late, the Arabian Sea has become a hotbed of narcotics. All the supply lines are emerging right from our neighborhood and the narcotics are being landed across multiple nation-states within the Indian Ocean region. And the funds which are generated are being used to fund terrorism,” Vice Admiral Kochhar stated.

The senior Naval official also termed underwater domain awareness as a key challenge and outlined the areas which required maritime governance and responsible resource management.

Therefore, effectively harnessing the blue economy, sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improving livelihoods and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem by preventing overfishing, protecting marine biodiversity and reducing pollution in the ocean also requires maritime governance and responsible resource management,” the senior official stated.

Lt Gen (Retd) D B Shekatkar, who headed a committee of experts constituted by the Ministry of Defence, made opening remarks and stressed the importance of maritime security. The former Army officer also said India should take efforts to preserve its resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

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