Whatever may be the diversity of the definitions in other respects, all
writers concur in holding that robbery or forcible depredations upon the sea
animo furandi, is piracy
Pirates are the ones who commit robberies at sea, while not being appointed to
do so by any specific nation. Whereas the word pirate brings to mind sea-fearing
heroes of the last century, the reality is that piracy remains commonplace round
the world. Moreover, a pirate has become a symbol of a commonplace criminal off
the Somali and Singapore coasts and within the waters of the Indian and Pacific,
where the pirates are answerable for losses of up to $16 billion per annum.
According to the UN Convention on the Law of the sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, maritime
piracy is any criminal acts of detention, or violence, or depredation, committed
for private ends by the crew or the traveler of a private craft or ship craft
that is directed on the high seas against another craft, ship or against
property or person on board a vessel or craft. Hence, its history is as long as
the ship has gone to sea and once when people started using the oceans as trade
routes. The existence of piracy itself has always been guaranteed to the
international maritime industry.
Today oceans and seas have remodeled into crucial arenas for security,
environment, trade and maritime geopolitics and are at major crossroads of
diplomacy. Intersecting and overlapping interests undergird the complicated
strategic environment that's defined by growth, mutuality, competition and
vulnerability. These are supplemented by layers of nontraditional security (NTS)
threats like piracy and act of terrorism, in conjunction with concern about
safety at sea and property development or the blue economy.
The threat posed by piracy and armed robbery against ships has been on the
India's major security threat on piracy off the coast of Somalia, within the
Gulf of Aden and therefore the wider Indian Ocean. India is presently
implementing a method for enhancing maritime security in Central Africa and
West. It played a full of life role in putting in and functioning of the ReCAAP
ISC in conjunction with Singapore and Japan. The Centre has selected the ICG
because of its focal point in India for the ReCAAP.
Further, to navigate through this difficult maritime realm, the states round the
Indian Ocean ought to adopt cooperative ways on security, trade, environment,
resources, trade, climatic changes and safety. Apparently, numerous strategic
views are being developed by a multitude of players, largely external to the
Indian Ocean region, comprising the China, US and others.
Sea Piracy: Challenge For India's Maritime Security
Heavy infestation of piracy encompasses a tons to do with the geography of the
region, however economic conditions and the mind-set of the coastal folks within
the hundreds of minor islands that are spread across the Malacca Straits and
South China ocean also are major issues. Piracy within the Straits of Malaccas
has been illustrious for several centuries and may be a historic fact. The
strait is slender, contains thousands of islets and is an outlet for several
rivers creating it a perfect location for piracy because the pirates will simply
hide at large amount of places.
Due to the cooperative efforts by the countries of the region Malaysia,
Indonesia, Singapore and Kingdom of Thailand piracy-related incidents are
returning down step by step. Indian Navy and ICG conjointly joined the
antipiracy efforts in 2006. Recently, piracy-related incidents appear to have
spilled over from these 2 areas into the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
Indeed, the center of gravity of piracy has been step by step shifting to the
waters around India and there has recently been direct confrontation between the
Indian agencies like the Indian Navy and ICG and the pirates from African
There was a dramatic rise in the piracy incidents in recent years. The number of
incidents within the Horn of Africa region doubled in 2017 compared to the
previous year, in step with the annual State of Piracy report that was released
by the non-profit One Earth Future's Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) program. The
Isolated Andaman and Nicobar Islands will become safe heavens for the pirates
unless strict vigil is maintained by the Indian Navy and therefore the ICG.
Additionally threat of outlawed migration and management of large Exclusive
Economic Zone (EEZ) of India adds another necessary dimension to the maritime
security of India. There's conjointly sizeable threat of act of terrorism from
these pirates as they will be part of the international organizations just like
the al-Qaida and use the hijacked ships like the massive oil tankers as bombs in
their dirty mission.
Since maritime safety and security is a multi-faceted issue, particularly in the
realm of non-traditional threats, it's necessary to focus on the acute and
imperative need for defense of the ocean lanes of communications.
"Save our seafarers
In an endeavor to extend the governmental response to the piracy crisis, the
leading maritime shipping associations and therefore the International Transport
Workers' Federation (ITF) have initiated the "Save Our Seafarers
campaign, within which governments are asked to take up steps to eradicate
piracy at sea and ashore:
Present legal provisions in India for tackling piracy
- Reduce the effectiveness of the easily recognizable pirate mother ships.
- Authorize naval service to detain pirates and deliver them for
prosecution and penalization.
- Fully criminalize all acts of piracy and therefore the intent to commit
piracy below national laws in accordance with their obligatory duty to join
forces to suppress piracy under international conventions.
- Increase naval service assets within the space.
- Provide much protection and support for seafarers.
- Trace and criminalize the organizers and financiers behind the criminal
Currently, ship safety and security are handled by the International Maritime
Organization (IMO) underneath the International Ship and Port Facility Security
Code, that itself is a modification to the International Convention for the
protection of life sea (SOLAS) of 1974/78 and came into force in 2004. At the
international level, Sections 101 to 107 of the United Nations Convention on the
Law of Sea (UNCLOS) relate to sea piracy. However India has still been unable to
form and adopt any categorical municipal legislation to tackle this issue.
Hence to fill this present lacuna the Indian Government has recently formulated
a brand new categorical municipal law to tackle piracy. The new law would
agitate acts of piracy and alternative complicated problems on the high seas.
Impetus has conjointly been provided by the Supreme Court asking the Centre to
come up with a compensation measure and comprehensive laws. A Piracy news Center
has been set up in Kuala Lumpur.
Presently many sections in the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS)
define piracy and there's a necessity to adopt a domestic law on the topic. In
India, piracy problems are tackled by the provisions of Indian penal code and
also the admiralty law.
The high seas being open to all nations, no state may validly purport to
subject any part of them to its sovereignty
In the past decade, incidents of armed robbery for most of the parts have been
restricted to a few number of ports. In 2020, incidents of armed robbery were
reportable from only one port, with the balance being reported from Alang.
Whereas overall there has been an uptick in the past 3 years, it's not exceeded
the 14-year average. However, as highlighted by the RecAAP ISC, incidents of
armed robbery, notwithstanding how petty, have important connotations from the
maritime security perspective.
The successful apprehension of criminals, as additionally the next suppression
in Gujarat, has truly drawn the praise of the ReCAAP ISC. The suppression of
armed robbery in different major ports across India is noteworthy. However,
incidence of armed robbery are indicative of the presence of local criminal
parts, and there remains the chance of such criminals colluding with
anti-national elements. The 1993 Mumbai attack may be a grim reminder of this
Preventing, and responding to, armed robbery necessitates a multi-pronged
approach by all stakeholders like those concerned in port security, ports,
shipping business, police, and now, the ship-recycling business. Therefore,
consolidating on the gains, and strengthening of security measures across ports
and ship-recycling yards is an indispensable, not just for suppressing armed
robbery, however for strengthening overall coastal security.
After longing the laws concerning piracy on seas, one major drawback that's seen
is the serious dearth of a good legislation to take care of such a pressing
menace. Though there are some laws at the international level they seriously
lack teeth. As far as the municipal law on the issue is concerned there exists a
serious lacuna that has to be resolved as soon as possible. For example in India
we want to rely upon laws framed by the Indian penal code, the Foreigner's act
for prosecuting pirates. There exists no specific law on this issue though the
government is thinking of formulating a specific law it's still within the
With the rising menace of piracy everyday it can solely be hoped that the
government sticks to its word and is in a position to draft a good legislation
as soon as possible.