Port Louis: With piracy proving to be a
major threat in Indian Ocean, India is extending all help to
island nations especially to Mauritius and Seychelles to
counter Somalian pirates who have been attacking merchant
vessels around the Gulf of Aden and northwest of Indian Ocean.
India has been helping Mauritius in building coastal
surveillance system as Mauritian prime Minister Navin
Ramgoolam had said "indeed, India continues to play a key role
in strengthening our security and in helping us to combat
Since April 2009, with the assistance of the Indian
Navy, a marine commando force comprising 21 commandos has been
set up to combat piracy in the high seas."
According to the officials of Ministry of External
Affairs, India was willing to extend to nations like
Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros and would like to help even
Madagascar after the UN sanctions are vacated.
India has been deploying on a six-monthly basis, its
naval ships to Mauritius for the joint surveillance of the
Exclusive Economic Zone with a view to combating piracy,
illegal fishing and to reinforce maritime security in the
Besides helping the Mauritius in fighting piracy,
Indian naval vessels have conducted several hydro graphic
surveys for Mauritius free of charge, thereby enabling it to
revise its antiquated nautical charts and to create new ones.
The Mauritian Prime Minister commented on Indian
Navy`s presence, saying "earlier India and Mauritius have a
shared interest in the stability of the Indian Ocean and I am
confident that we shall continue to work together in
responding to security threats at sea and ensuring the safety
of our sea lanes, the arteries of our trade with the outside
The Indian Navy detachment, besides patrolling the
high seas, has been helping in building the coastal security
system and have installed anti-piracy devices on Mauritian
vessels which helps in identifying any ship in high seas.
Besides a Dhruv helicopter, India has also given a
Naval Donnier aircraft at the request of the Mauritain
government which helps in patrolling the coastal line.
Seychelles has also approached India in providing
assistance in fighting piracy as 30 per cent of its tourism
has affected because of the threat of piracy.
Sailing vessels are particularly vulnerable and its
advised against all but essential travel by yacht and leisure
craft on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and
part of the Indian Ocean and this includes activities within
the Seychelles Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) beyond 12 miles
of the inner granitic islands.
Indian Navy makes trips into Seychelles waters as a
deterrent to pirates and guard its high seas on regular basis.