"Citizens must be made more aware of the importance of coastal security. Curriculum in schools and colleges must include related subjects and offer courses," Commodore G Prakash, Director of Maritime Warfare Centre, Southern Naval Command here said.
Speaking at a technical sessions on 'Ocean and National Security' at the ongoing World Ocean Congress here, he said the country was developing better allied infrastructure for improving the coastal security and surveillance system.

Pointing that drug cartels, terrorists and groups with vested interests have become a major threat to national security, he said terrorism has started to spill into the sea along with arms trafficking.
"Securing seas and oceans is of prime importance for the country as any strife on the waters will have direct implication on the economy of the country," he said.
Earlier addressing the plenary session, retired naval officer Vice Admiral B Kannan observed that though the country had a three-layer security system consisting of the Navy, Coast Guard and Coastal Police to deal with any threat from the sea, there was no system in place to check the threat from underwater.
"Though the three-layer security system has been well integrated, the underwater threat to national assets and installations continues to be a major concern," he said.
Illegal immigration and ghost ships have become a major concern in recent times. "We need to focus more on the Indian Ocean considering the growing interest of other countries in the region. With China already going much ahead in deep sea mining in the Indian Ocean, we need to have fairly large number of unmanned and manned submarines to monitor the entire ocean," he said.
Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) Director S Ananthanarayanan said that the national security agencies were working in close coordination with national scientific and research organisations for strengthening the coastal security systems mainly to safeguard vital installations like ports and nuclear power units.

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