A combined team from the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry for Primary Industries and Fijian Government agencies boarded 51 vessels and detected five alleged infringements during the latest patrol of Fiji’s waters by Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Hawea. The number of vessels boarded has reached almost 500 since the maritime security and fisheries patrols started more than five months ago.
Lieutenant Brock West, the Commanding Officer of Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Hawea, says that the latest alleged infringements included fishing without a licence, dumping rubbish at sea, lack of work permits and breach of safety regulations such as not having life jackets or holding master’s licences. West says that the local knowledge of their Fijian partner‑agencies has been key to the strong results they have achieved so far.
Meanwhile, Commodore Jim Gilmour, the Maritime Component Commander, says that the operation had strengthened longstanding military ties and people‑to‑people links between the two countries.
Image and News Credit: “fijivillage.com”