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OCEAN POLICY STATEMENT

  1. The oceans are known to be our  last  frontiers.    Our  long
     coast and the sense of adventure of our ancients fostered a great
     maritime tradition.    The  Indian  Ocean which washes our shores
     provides opportunities which need to be utilised.  For success in
     ocean development, the entire nation should be permeated  by  the
     spirit  of  enterprise and the desire to explore the frontiers of
     knowledge.   Our  experience  in  other  fields   of   scientific
     endeavour will help our efforts in ocean development.
        
     What  is  necessary  is  a  policy  and structure to facilitate a
     dynamic thrust keeping in view developments in other parts of the
     world.
        
        
  2. The adoption, by an overwhelming majority of nations  of  the
     Convention  of  the  UN  Conference  on  the  Law of the Seas has
     established a new international  order  for  the  oceans.    This
     extends  the  economic  jurisdiction of coastal states to an area
     ranging form 200 to 350 miles from the coastline.   According  to
     this  regime,  nearly  2.02 million square kilometers of area, or
     nearly two-third of the land mass has come under India's national
     jurisdiction.  In this  area,  the  exclusive  right  to  utilise
     living and  non-living resources vests with the nation.  Besides,
     India has been recognised as "Pioneer Investor"  in  an  area  of
     upto  50000  square  kilometers in the deep seas for the recovery
     and processing of polymetallic nodules.
        
        
  3. For ages, the sea has enabled our people to sail to near  and
     distant lands and has been a source of livelihood to large number
     of people.  Even now Indian public and private enterprises do use
     ocean resources.  the country is producing significant quantities
     of  fish  and  hydrocarbons form the sea and much scientific work
     has been done in collecting basic knowledge and information about
     the sea and the seabed and in surveying, charting and  exploiting
     it.   Progress has also been made in construction and development
     of offshore structures.
        
        
  4. The  vastness,  complexity  and  uncertainty  of  the  ocean
     environment  call  for  a  coordinated,  centralised  and  highly
     sophisticated development response.   This  should  be  based  on
     adequate  knowledge  of  marine  space  (sea-bed,  water  and air
     columns included) as a fundamental prerequisite to  the  control,
     management  and  utilisation  of  the  rich  and  varied  natural
     resources available in the sea.  In addition to  basic  knowledge
     to  determine the potentialities inherent in the Indian sea-space
     we have to develop  appropriate  technologies  to  harness  these
     resources.    A   supporting  infrastructure  has  to  be  built.
     Effective systems of management and control of the entire set  up
     are also necessary.
        
        
  5. We  need  to  map  living resources, prepare an inventory of
     commercially  exploitable  fauna  and  to  map  and  assess   the
     availability of  minerals  from  the  deep  sea.   The supporting
     infrastructure and incentives required are  research  vessesl  of
     different  types,  manpower, well-laid out programmes of resource
     exploitation, advanced technology  and  everything  necessary  to
     promote the  growth  of  ocean  technology.    In  the management
     sector, the high seas and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)  upto
     320 kilometers have to be looked into for the exploitation of the
     wealth occurring therein.
        
        
  6. The  main  thrust  should  be  on the optimal utilisation of
     living  resources  like  fish  and  sea  weeds,  exploitation  of
     non-living  resources  such  as  hydrocarbons  and  heavy  placer
     deposits, harnessing of renewable resources of ocean energy  from
     waves,   temperature  differences  in  the  water  column,  tidal
     heights, salinity gradients and the collection and processing  of
     polymetallic nodules from the deep sea.
        
        
  7. Marine   development   is   linked   with   scientific  and
     technological achievements in  other  areas.    Hence,  while  we
     develop basic marine science and technology, i.e.  technology for
     marine  environment, our technological advances have to be geared
     to the utilisation and preservation of  the  marine  environment.
     The  extension  of  national  frontiers  by  an area of 2 million
     square kilometers of ocean space and the consequent access to new
     sources of energy, minerals and food, requires great  strides  in
     ocean  engineering,  specially  in  tasks  related to structures,
     materials,   instrumentation,   submersibles   and   systems   of
     propulsion of  ships.  The exploitation of natural food resources
     such as fish and sea weeds, and the generation of additional food
     resources by cultivation, need scientific methods of  aquaculture
     and mariculture.    To  survey and predict the ocean environment,
     the main tasks necessary are seafloor mapping, charting, geodesy,
     ocean  dynamics,  currents,  waves,   cyclones,   marine   fauna,
     chemistry  and  physics  of the oceans and seabed mineral mapping
     delineation and assessment.  Research in  all  these  areas  must
     examine  the  various processes and their origins so as to have a
     fundamental  understanding,  ensuring  predictive   capabilities.
     Marine science and technology has also to look beyond the current
     state-of-the-art to achieve major technological break-throughs in
     the future.
        
        
  8. Besides research and development in basic sciences, we should
     survey the  deeper part of the ocean.  Similarly in the deep sea,
     detailed survey and sampling  in  the  regions  of  EEZ  and  the
     adjacent  ocean will be necessary to locate and evaluate the rich
     and economically viable deposits of polymetallic  nodules,  heavy
     metals, fossil  placers  and phosphorite deposits.  The gathering
     of data from surveys should be coordinated and  a  cost-effective
     system of integrated surveys be established.
        
        
  9.  Much more needs to be done for the development of indigenous
     technology for the exploitation of fish from deeper waters.  This
     also means setting up of infrastructure facilities  and  services
     to operate large sized fishing vessels.
        
        
 10. An  important component of the development programme should
     be acquisition  of  technology.    To   be   self-reliant,   such
     technologies  would  have  to  be  largely  developed, tested and
     operated indigenously.  Technologies relating to  instrumentation
     of  diving  systems,  position  fixing  and position maintenance,
     materials   development,   oceanic   data   collecting   devices,
     anti-erosion capabilities  sumersibles,  energy and energy-saving
     devices are priority items.  Several new technologies  will  have
     to be commercialised and made cost effective.
        
        
 11. Infrastructural support forms an essential prerequisite for
     ocean development.    The   variegated   infrastructure   already
     available in the country will have to be appropriately augmented,
     and  more particularly in basic supporting facilities like safety
     and rescue at sea,  navigational  chains,  communication  network
     development of  appropriate maps and chargs etc.  Infrastructural
     support for providing a complete and reliable information  system
     through a network of data centres on marine resources, processing
     and   marketing  systems,  advanced  technologies  and  financial
     assistance would also be necessary.  This requires  a  broadening
     and   strengthening   of  available  infrastructural  facilities.
     Provision of  adequate  ports  and  harbours,  ship-building  and
     ship-repair  facilities  will  be  needed in addition to adequate
     ports and harbours, ship-building and ship-repair facilities will
     be needed in addition to adequate  skilled  manpower  in  various
     sectors of development.
        
        
 12. Surveillance and conservation of the marine environment and
     its resources call for an  integrated  legal  framework  and  its
     concomitant enforcement.      Several   laws  have  already  been
     formulated regarding the maritime zone, fisheries etc.  The Coast
     Guard Organisation looks after the enforcement aspects of several
     of these legislative measures.  The  coordinating  mechanisms  of
     the  overall  structure  of  legislation will have to be suitably
     strengthened  under  the  aegis  of  the  Department   of   Ocean
     development.
        
        
 13. In the light of this, we must have a database to coordinate
     efforts made by  different  agencies.    This  is  all  the  more
     necessary  because  of  the  rapid growth of information in ocean
     science and technology.  A centralised data system will be set up
     by the Department of Ocean Development with  a  proper  mechanism
     for   collection   collation  and  dissemination  of  information
     acquired both indigenously and from foreign sources.
        
        
 14. The creation of a self-reliant  technological  base  puts  a
     heavy demand on fully trained personnel.  The training of skilled
     manpower is   to   be  adequately  planned.    Young  scientists,
     technologists and engineers will be encouraged to participate  in
     the  programme  of  ocean  development and steps will be taken to
     induce Indian scientists from within the country  and  abroad  to
     participate in it.
        
        
 15. Existing agencies will have to be appropriately strengthened
     to meet the demands of this growing challenge.  The Department of
     Ocean   Development   will  function  in  conjuction  with  other
     concerned agencies as a  focal  point  to  promote  institutional
     capability in  areas  where  significant  work  is  lacking.  The
     complex programme that ocean  development  entails  will  require
     well  designed  management  and  institutional  extension  of the
     Department of Ocean Development with sufficient powers  vis-a-vis
     other agencies to help proper and speedy ocean development, which     enables India to be in the forefront of the International effort.
     This  would  also mean close cooperation with both developing and
     developed countries in a spirit of understanding of  the  concept
     that the oceans are a common heritage of humankind.
 

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