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20-December-2023-Special Article

December 20, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The recent piracy incident involving the Malta-flagged Vessel MV Ruen in the Arabian Sea underscores the persistent threat of maritime piracy. The Indian Navy, strategically positioned in the Gulf of Aden, responded swiftly to intercept the hijacked vessel, working in conjunction with the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) Operation Atalanta.

What is Maritime Piracy?

  • Article 101 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines acts constituting piracy.
  • These acts involve violence, detention, or depredation committed for private ends on the high seas or outside any state’s jurisdiction.
  • Motivated by personal gain, piracy includes the seizure of ships, cargo, or the kidnapping of passengers or crew.
  • It is considered a serious maritime crime subject to international laws and conventions.

Strongest Zones of Pirate Activity:

  • Northwest Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Red Sea, Somalia, Horn of Africa, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia.

Global Initiatives Related to Maritime Piracy:

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):

  • Establishes the legal framework for combating piracy, emphasizing international cooperation.
  • UN Security Council and General Assembly highlight the applicability of UNCLOS in addressing maritime threats.

Operation Prosperity Guardian:

  • Initiated by the United States, a multinational security initiative ensuring security in the Red Sea.

Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (1988):

  • Multilateral treaty ensuring appropriate action against those committing unlawful acts against ships.
  • Adopted in 1988 at the Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA) Convention in Rome.

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF):

  • Multinational naval partnership with a focus on defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, fostering regional cooperation, and ensuring a secure maritime environment.
  • Includes 39 member nations, including India.

India’s Initiatives Related to Maritime Piracy:

SAGAR Policy:

  • Stands for Security and Growth for All in the Region.
  • Emphasizes India’s commitment to ensuring a secure maritime environment.

International Fusion Centre (IFC):

  • A collaborative effort for maritime security information sharing.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA):

  • Promotes regional cooperation for addressing maritime challenges.

Enhanced Technical Surveillance:

  • Coastal Surveillance Network.
  • National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network.
  • National Automatic Identification System.
  • National Maritime Domain Awareness Project.
  • National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security.

Facts About the Gulf of Aden:

The Gulf of Aden, an arm of the Indian Ocean, is a vital waterway between Yemen and Somalia.


Bounded by Somalia, Yemen, the Arabian Sea, and Djibouti, it connects the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea via the Strait of Bab el Mandeb.

Approximately 900 kilometers long and 500 kilometers wide, it serves as a crucial oil transport route between Europe and the Far East.

Rich in marine life, the Gulf has faced challenges of piracy, terrorism, and refugee smuggling in recent years.


Maritime piracy remains a formidable challenge, necessitating collaborative efforts on a global scale. The recent incident in the Arabian Sea emphasizes the importance of swift and coordinated responses. India, with its strategic positioning in the Gulf of Aden, plays a pivotal role in anti-piracy initiatives, aligning with international efforts to secure the seas. The multifaceted approach, including legal frameworks, security operations, and technological advancements, underscores the collective commitment to combating this maritime menace and ensuring safe navigation in vital waterways like the Gulf of Aden.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss the global initiatives and India’s strategic responses to combat maritime piracy. Highlight the significance of legal frameworks, international partnerships, and India’s specific initiatives, emphasizing the multifaceted approach required to address the persistent challenge of piracy. (150 words)


December 20, 2023
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: