Quad's new maritime initiative to monitor 'dark vessels', illegal China fishing | World News - Hindustan Times
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Quad's new maritime initiative to monitor 'dark vessels', illegal China fishing

Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Swati Bhasin, New Delhi
May 24, 2022 09:36 AM IST

The initiative will integrate three critical regions of the Pacific Islands - Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region - and allow tracking of “dark shipping” and other “tactical activities”.

As the Quad summit began in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, the White House underlined that the leaders of the US, Japan, Australia, and India will welcome a major maritime initiative to check illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific region and enhance the security apparatus of the region. The initiative dubbed 'Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness' (IPMDA) will offer an integrated and cost-effective maritime domain and transform the ability of partners in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region to fully monitor the waters on their shores, the White House said.

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese deliver their Quad Fellowship Announcement after meeting at Kantei Palace in Tokyo, Japan.(REUTERS)
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese deliver their Quad Fellowship Announcement after meeting at Kantei Palace in Tokyo, Japan.(REUTERS)

Here are five points on the maritime initiative:

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1) The IPMDA is said to be a satellite-based maritime security system aiming for a “fundamental requirement for peace, stability, and prosperity” in the Indo-Pacific region.

2) The initiative will integrate three critical regions of the Pacific Islands - Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region - and allow tracking of “dark shipping” and other “tactical activities”.

Also read | Quad more influential today, a force for good in Indo-Pacific region: PM Modi

3) "Dark ships" are vessels with their Automatic Identification System (AIS) - a transponder system - switched off so as not to be detectable.

4) A report by Reuters said the new maritime initiative will enable these countries to monitor illegal fishing even when the boats have turned off the transponders which are typically used to track vessels. Several countries in the Indo-Pacific region have complained about China's vast fishing fleet, saying its vessels often violate their exclusive economic zones and cause environmental damage and economic losses.

5) The maritime system will also improve the partners' ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and protect their fisheries - a vital need for many Indo-Pacific economies. According to the White House, the consultation on the opportunity will begin among the partners immediately. As the initiative proceeds, the quad partners will also work towards identifying future technologies of promise and innovating upon existing maritime domain awareness efforts.

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