10.1 Delineation of Outer Limits of Continental Shelf
According to the provisions of United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Coastal State that intends to delineate the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, is required to submit particulars of such limits along with the supporting scientific and technical data. The UNCLOS came into force in November 1994 and India ratified it in June 1995. If delineation is properly undertaken, India would be in a position to claim approximately 1 million sq. km beyond the EEZ. The claims are now required to be submitted by May 2009 and would be examined by the Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf (CLCS), a body established under UNCLOS.
The States submitting claims are required to determine the (a) baselines (b) foot of the continental slope and 2500 metre isobath, and (c) thickness of sedimentary rocks to establish the outer limits of the continental shelf. In this regard, a comprehensive desktop study of the data sources available to determine the scope of the Project, the type of data to be collected and development of a data acquisition programme was carried out.
While the baselines have been prepared, the bathymetric survey data collected by National Hydrographic Office (NHO) and Geological Survey of India (GSI) have been compiled by NHO, which are being reconciled.
The seismic survey parameters have been improvised. The cruise plan and quality control guidelines have also been prepared. The tender for undertaking marine geophysical survey in Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal was finalised. National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) at Goa, an autonomous body under the DOD, is coordinating this national endeavour with active co-operation and participation of all national institutions.
10.2 Bilateral Programmes
Hon’ble Minister for Ocean Development and Secretary, DOD visited Lisbon, Portugal during 2nd - 5th July 2001 for holding high-level discussions with their counterpart in Portugal and to finalise and sign MOUs for cooperation between the two countries in the field of ocean science and technology.
A MOU was signed between the two delegations, which provides for future cooperation in the following aspects:
· The work being carried out on ROVs between NIO and Portugal institutions shall be continued and strengthened.
· New programmes in Marine Archaeology would be initiated.
· A Joint Committee for monitoring and supporting research in ocean sciences would be established.
· A 5-6 day Workshop to be held to discuss details of the collaborative work to be undertaken in Ocean Sciences between India and Portugal.
In addition, a visit of a Portugal delegation to India during November 2001 for having an exposure to OTEC and deep-sea mining technologies being developed, was also agreed to.
As a follow up to this MOU, a six member delegation from Portugal visited NIOT & NCAOR during November 2001 to explore the possibilities for initiating cooperative programmes on mutual areas of interest in the area of Polar Science and Ocean Science & Technology.
10.3 International Sea Bed Authority (ISBA)
The Director NIOT was elected as a representative of Government of India and as a Member of Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) of the International Sea Bed Authority (ISBA) from 01.01.02 to 31.12.2006.
In order to make the Indian Antarctic Programme internationally recognised and perceptible, it is foremost that India contributes effectively in the various international platforms under the aegis of the Antarctic Treaty. To this effect, Director NCAOR participated as an Indian delegate in 13th COMNAP/SCALOP meeting held at St. Petersburg during July 6-22, 2001. Director NCAOR also represented India in ATCM meeting held at Netherlands during August 15 – 27, 2001.
10.6 Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources(CCAMLR)
Twentieth meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) held at Hobart, Australia from 22nd October to 2nd November 2001 was attended by Director, CMLRE. The Members selected Dr. D. Miller (South Africa) as the new Executive Secretary, who has since taken over in February 2002.
In commemoration of the 20th Year of adoption of CCAMLR, Department of Ocean Development issued a special cover, duly cancelled on 30th October 2001.
CCAMLR Working Group on Fish Stock Assessment (WGFSA) met at Hobart, Australia from 8th October to 18th October 2001, which was attended by Scientist-D, CMLRE, Kochi.
10.7 Other Visits abroad
Two scientists of NIOT visited Mauritius during 18-25 June 2001 for shallow water and deepwater oceanographic survey onboard A.A. Sidorenko for the Mauritius Research Council.
The Director, NIOT participated in the “Technical Workshop to Standardise the Environmental Data Mining Code and the Guidelines for Contractors” during 25-29th June 2001 organised by the International Sea Bed Authority at Kingston, Jamaica.
A scientist of NIOT participated in the International Conference on Coastal Zone 2001 organised by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA at Cleveland, USA during – 15-19th July 2001.
A Scientist of NIOT participated in the International Workshop on the review of Tropical Mooring Arrays of buoys along the equatorial, organized by NOAA at Seattle, USA during 10th-14th August 2001.
The Programme Director, NDBP, participated in the 17th Session of the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel and 5th Session of the International Buoy Programme for the Indian Ocean at Perth, Australia, during 18th –26th October 2001 and presented the National Report on the National Data Buoy Programme, summarising the Indian efforts in Indian Ocean Observations using moored data buoys.
A Scientist of NIOT participated in the RV Mirai cruise during 16th October to 5th November 2001, conducted by Japan Marine Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) for deployment of two ‘TRITON’ buoys in equatorial zone of Eastern Indian Ocean.
Secretary, Department of Ocean Development visited South Africa from 7th to 10th January 2002 and flagged off the XXI Indian Antarctic Expedition on 8th January 2002 onboard M.V. Magdalena Oldendorff. The logistics and scientific cooperation of common interest to both these countries were also discussed between Secretary and officials of Government of India and South Africa.
A Scientist of INCOIS, participated in the Fourth meeting of International ARGO Science Team held at Hobart, Australia during March 12-14, 2002.