NEWS

Lack of resources limits Navy from proper watch

The lack of gear within the Fiji Navy prohibits them from staying longer at sea to fully monitor Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This was revealed by Republic of Fiji
07 Apr 2017 15:36
Lack of resources limits Navy from proper watch
From left: Republic of Fiji Military Forces Captain Turagaluvu Lilo, Chief of Staff of Land Force Command, Lieutenant-Colonel Jofiliti Talemaibau and Staff Officer Investigation/Legal Officer, Jone Cagirilinilala before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence at Parliament on April 6, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

The lack of gear within the Fiji Navy prohibits them from staying longer at sea to fully monitor Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

This was revealed by Republic of Fiji Military Forces Chief of Staff of Land Force Command Lieutenant-Colonel Jofiliti Talemaibau while making his submissions before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence at Parliament yesterday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Talemaibau was speaking on the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime.

He said this was one of the major challenges they faced in trying to combat transnational organised crimes on a daily basis.

Another challenge the Fiji Navy faced was the lack of finance to carry out the patrolling of the EEZ.

Lieutenant-Colonel Talemaibau said they relied on planned maritime surveillance patrols offered by their defence partners, New Zealand, Australia, France and the United States of America.

He said Fiji’s EEZ covered a huge area which prohibited the Fiji Navy from their continuous presence at sea.

He said one of the ways forward in arresting and monitoring transnational crime was the use of high technology Pacific Class Patrol Boats (PPB) with increased patrol range to sustain longer sea travel.

Lieutenant-Colonel Talemaibau said there was also a need for use of long range drones for surveillance for Fiji’s EEZ.

He said there was no information sharing capability or data base available for monitoring.

He added that the Fiji Navy had trained their personnel to conduct boarding of suspicious ships within Fiji’s EEZ to search for arms, illegal people and drugs.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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