Achieving maritime security is a top goal of any country with access to the sea and largely dependent on the seas for international trade and commerce. For such countries, securing vital sea lanes of communication is both a strategic and an economic interest of utmost importance. India’s Navy has grown in both size and capabilities since the late 1990s and is the only Navy with a blue water capability in South Asia. As India’s modernization efforts have persisted, there has been increased Indian involvement in Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) with Indian technological assistance reaching different parts of the Indian Ocean region. Today, growing skepticism of multilateralism, regionalism, anti-globalization sentiments and nation’s self-first attitudes are hampering security cooperation.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU) has been a bone of contention between India and Sri Lanka, souring otherwise cordial relations. Due to fears of Indian hegemonic designs, countries such as Sri Lanka are cautious when engaging India for assistance in Maritime security.