KARACHI - On the directives of Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah NI(M), Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) in coordination with all the stakeholders conducted on Wednesday marine oil spill exercise, BARRACUDA-VII, from November14-16, 2016.

The exercise, aimed at rehearsing the oil spill procedures and contingency mechanism, was conducted in two phases. Briefing on the exercise was held on at PMSA headquarters and included discussions besides other activities.

Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini, along with PMSA Director General Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar attended the opening briefing. Subsequent to the training of all the stakeholders, Phase-II was conducted on Wednesday, encompassing oil containment exercise near Karachi anchorage at sea. Oil spill equipment was practically deployed and response procedure was rehearsed. The spilled oil was recovered successfully.

Assets of Pakistan Navy, PMSA and various stakeholders, including Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim Authority and BYCO participated in the exercise. Representatives of Joint Staff Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), BEPA, NIO and Pakistan Coastal Guard DG also viewed the exercise.

PMSA DG Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar witnessed the exercise from a PMSA ship.

Media men were present in large numbers to cover the exercise.

Talking to the media, the PMSA DG narrated the objectives of exercise and the strengths of various departments’ in terms of responding to oil spill incidents.

He said the ability of PN, PMSA and other departments like port authorities and oil marketing companies could be effectively utilised at any location along Pakistan’s coast, including Gwadar, in case of any oil spill incident.

Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar also briefed media on illegal activities at sea and actions being taken by PMSA to curb the same.

PMSA’s efforts for eradicating smuggling, registering fishing boats in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan, creating awareness about marine pollution and controlling illegal fishing were also highlighted on the occasion.