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Traffic separation scheme for south-west coast to avoid collisions between merchant ships and fishing vessels

The Directorate General of Shipping has proposed the establishment of a Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off the south-west coast of India to prevent collision incidents between merchant vessels and fishing vessels off the coast of Kerala.   

This proposal has been drawn taking into consideration past collision incidents off the Indian coast, traffic patterns of merchant vessels for past years, and optimum sea routes, in consonance with the current traffic flow, including simplification of traffic in converging areas off the coast of Kerala.  The proposal has also considered aspects pertaining to the safety of navigation, maritime security and the separation of opposing streams of traffic to reduce incidents of collision in Indian waters. 

There have been 3 to 4 collisions between merchant ships and fishing vessels off the Kerala coast during the last two years. In one such incident and crew of the Italian ship opened fire and killed several Indian fishermen. 

  The proposed TSS lanes are currently under consideration and will be located at a distance of about 90 nautical miles west of Mangalore in Karnataka, with the lanes leading in a south-easterly direction to the southernmost tip of India and ending about 40 nautical miles off south of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.  The average distance from the coast is about 50 nautical miles. 

The proposal will be put on the DGS website before finalization, and will also be sent to stakeholders. 

The promulgation of TSS on the south-west coast of India is expected to shift the density of merchant traffic away from the coast and merchant ship traffic will become more concentrated in the established TSS.  This is expected to result in more sea room for fishing vessels to operate safely and will, therefore, be beneficial to the fishing industry.


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