INS Sagardhwani, Kochi based, Marine Acoustic Research Ship (MARS), owned and maintained by the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory, has recently joined an international campaign to revisit the first major interdisciplinary oceanographic research programme, International Indian Ocean Exploration (IIOE), that had been undertaken by 13 countries with 46 vessels during 1959-1965; and carried out surveys covering the entire Indian Ocean basin and had also covered a large part of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, including the coastal seas. It collected data on physical oceanography, chemical oceanography, meteorology, marine biology, marine geology, and geophysics. Indian Naval Ships Kistna and Varuna had taken part in the expedition held under the United Nations. Sagardhwani’s present cruise retraces certain routes that had been followed by INS Kistna in its mission that lasted till 1965. Sagardhwani followed between November 17 & 20, 2017, the sixth cruise track of Kistna in the southern Bay of Bengal in 1963:
International Indian Ocean Exploration-2 (IOE-2), organised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) under the United Nations, is a major global scientific on-going commemorative expedition which will engage the international scientific community in collaborative oceanographic and atmospheric research from coastal environments to the deep sea over the period 2015-2020, revealing new information on the Indian Ocean that include its currents, its influence upon the climate, its marine ecosystems; which is fundamental for future sustainable development and expansion of the Indian Ocean’s blue economy.
Indian Ocean is complex and drives the region’s climate including extreme events such as; cyclones, droughts, severe rains, waves and storm surges. It is the source of important socio-economic resources such as fisheries, oil and gas exploration/extraction, eco-tourism, and food and energy security, and is the background and focus of many of the region’s human populations around its margins.
Research and observations supported through IIOE-2 will result in an improved understanding of the ocean’s physical and biological oceanography, and related air-ocean climate interactions, both in the short-term and long-term.
Focused research on the Indian Ocean has a number of benefits for all nations and collectively the outcomes of IIOE-2 will be of huge benefit to individual and regional sustainable development as the information is a critical component of improved decision making in areas such as maritime services and safety, environmental management, climate monitoring and prediction, food and energy security.
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