Op­er­a­tion lo­cates ‘dark’ boats in Fiji’s EEZ

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - ROSI DOVIVERATA SUVA Edited by Rosi Doviverata Feed­back: rosi.doviverata@fi­jisun.com.fj

Two uniden­ti­fied ‘dark tar­gets’ were found in Fiji’s Ex­clu­sive Eco­nomic Zone by the New Zealand off­shore pa­trol boat HMNZS Otago. Ac­cord­ing to the Pa­cific Is­lands Fo­rum Fish­eries Agency (FFA), the Chi­nese-flagged Long­lin­ers did not have au­to­matic lo­ca­tion transpon­ders. These are re­quired equip­ment by the FFA and Western and Cen­tral Pa­cific Fish­eries Com­mis­sion — the first rule for fish­ing in Pa­cific wa­ters as it al­lows for track­ing and re­mote mon­i­tor­ing of lo­ca­tion and ac­tiv­ity by Pa­cific mar­itime of­fi­cials, and the FFA’s Re­gional Fish­eries Sur­veil­lance Cen­tre (RFSC). The find comes af­ter Op­er­a­tion Tui Moana/ Is­lands Chief for 2016(OPTMIC16), a 10-day re­gional sur­veil­lance op­er­a­tion which ended last Fri­day.

The sur­veil­lance in­volved full or par­tial par­tic­i­pa­tion from all 17 Fo­rum Fish­eries Agency mem­ber na­tions, as well as the De­fence Force as­sets of the ‘Quads’ – Aus­tralia, France, New Zealand, and the United States. FFA di­rec­tor gen­eral James Movick said: “The de­tec­tion of these ves­sels is a credit to ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sup­port by Pa­cific na­tions work­ing across the 30 mil­lion square kilo­me­tres of ocean cov­ered by OPTMIC16, as FFA mem­bers act to­gether against IUU fish­ing in their own and neigh­bour­ing EEZs. “As the in­ves­ti­ga­tions and fol­low up work con­tin­ues into the out­comes of this op­er­a­tion, I thank the par­tic­i­pat­ing mem­bers and our quad part­ners for their strong sup­port for vig­i­lance over fish­ing ac­tiv­ity across our shared oceanic re­source.” Of­fi­cers from Aus­tralia, New Zealand, FSM, Fiji, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Tonga, Tu­valu, Van­u­atu and the US were part of the num­bers at the RFSC.

Photo: Waisea Na­sokia

The U.S. Navy P-8A Po­sei­don, op­er­ated by the ‘Mad Foxes’ of Pa­trol Squadron FIVE (VP-5), in Nadi. The air­craft was here to sup­port the Fo­rum Fish­eries Agency (FFA) op­er­a­tion Tui Moana. US Am­bas­sador Ju­dith Ce­fkin, (mid­dle with cap), and Com­man­der John Fox of the Fi­jian Navy (third from left).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.