On the direction of Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, the Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) conducted a Marine Oil Spill Exercise BARRACUDA-VII from 14-16 November 2016.
The exercise was aimed at rehearsing oil spill procedures and contingency mechanisms. The exercise was conducted in two phases. An exercise briefing was held on 14 Nov 16 at HQ PMSA and included the opening brief, discussions and preparation checks. Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini along with the Director General PMSA Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar attended the opening brief.
Subsequent to planning and training, Phase-II was conducted today, which constituted a practical oil containment exercise near Karachi anchorage area at sea. Oil spill equipment was practically deployed and the response procedure was rehearsed. The simulated oil spill was recovered successfully. Assets of the Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and various other stakeholders including the Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim Authority and BYCO participated in the sea exercise. Representatives of the Joint Staff Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, National Disaster Management Authority, BEPA, NIO, and DG Pakistan Coastal Guard also attended the exercise. DG PMSA Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar witnessed the exercise from a PMSA ship.
A large contingent of media and TV Channels also observed the exercise at sea. While speaking to the media, DG PMSA briefed them on the objectives of the exercise and the response capabilities possessed by various departments in relation to oil spill incidents. He also mentioned that the Pakistan Navy and PMSA are required to ensure security in all of Pakistan’s maritime zones, including Gwadar. He also said that capabilities held by the PN, PMSA and other stakeholders like port authorities and oil marketing companies can be effectively utilised at any location along the Pakistani Coast, in the case of an oil spill. Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar also briefed the media on illegal activities at sea and actions being taken by the PMSA to curb the same. The PMSA’s efforts for eradicating smuggling of contraband items, registration of fishing boats at Balochistan and Sindh Coastal areas, creating awareness about Marine pollution and the control of illegal fishing were also highlighted on this occasion.