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Partnership Uncovers Alleged Infringements in Fijian Waters

Partnership Uncovers Alleged Infringements in Fijian Waters
Patrol number six for HMNZS Hawea. HMNZS Hawea assists with fisheries and customs patrols in Fiji. Ensign Rajale is shown some of the jobs he will be helping out with on the bridge by Ensign Wills.
October 06
11:00 2017

The New Zealand Defence Force in partnership with the Fijian Government and its agencies, boarded 51 vessels, detecting five alleged infringements during the latest patrol of Fiji’s maritime water recently.

The team of maritime security and fisheries personnel boarded almost 500 vessels since the Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Hawea started patrols five months ago.

HMNZS Hawea Commanding Officer Lieutenant Brock West said infringements allegedly detected were a lack of work permits, fishing without a licence, dumping rubbish at sea and breaching safety regulations.

“The local knowledge of our Fijian partner-agencies has been key to the strong results we have achieved so far,” Lieutenant West said.

“The team’s focus on achieving the mission remains as strong as when we started these patrols more than five months ago.”

Lieutenant West said he had noticed greater public awareness of Hawea’s work in Fiji.

Maritime Component Commander Commodore Jim Gilmour said the operation had seen the strengthening of military ties and people-to-people links between Fiji and New Zealand.

“Through these combined patrols we have been able to support the Fiji Navy on maritime surveillance and in developing their capability,” Commodore Gilmour said.

It was back in April that the New Zealand Defence Force first sent the inshore patrol vessel Hawea to help patrol Fiji’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone, which covers over 1.1 million square kilometres.

About 40 Fijian Navy sailors have joined the ship for training so far with further patrols to come.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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