Rich Pickings Make Indian Ocean States Vulnerable
THE Indian Ocean is targeted by pirates, illegal fishers and other criminals due to its rich marine resources and high volume of international trade, says history professor Thean Potgieter. ndian
Potgieter said 42 percent of global conflicts took place in the Indian Ocean because the region was rich in minerals and fishing grounds and had many trade and choke points.
He was addressing delegates in his personal capacity at a three-day Indian Ocean Naval Symposium in Cape Town which ended on Friday.
Potgieter works for the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy.
"The Indian Ocean region has 51 coastal and landlocked states, a sea area of 68.56 million km[sup.2], a land area of 33.05 million km[sup.2] and a population of 2.6 billion," he said.
He observed that the region's geographical size and population contributed to the Indian Ocean becoming "the most troubled region".
Potgieter said states in the region were big spenders on the military, despite many facing poverty.
He said the high concentration of containers, as well as poor physical security made the region's ports vulnerable to the extent that many crimes went unreported. …