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Otago Returns Home, Operation Wasawasa II Completed

Operation Wasawasa II a joint operation between Fiji and New Zealand completed its mission with the total boarding of almost 700 vessels this year conducted by two Her Majesty New
03 Oct 2018 10:00
Otago Returns Home, Operation Wasawasa II Completed
Commanding officer HMNZS Otago Lieutenant Commander Lorna Gray, (left), presents plaque to Navy Commander Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake on September 30, 2018. Photo: Wati Talebula

Operation Wasawasa II a joint operation between Fiji and New Zealand completed its mission with the total boarding of almost 700 vessels this year conducted by two Her Majesty New Zealand Ships (HMNZS) Taupo and Otago.

HMNZS Otago had continued from where HMNZS Taupo had left on the surveillance of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

HMNZS Otago returned to New Zealand last Sunday following its three months Operation Wasawasa II stint.

Commanding Officer HMNZS Otago, Lieutenant Commander Lorna Gray said they were happy to assist the Fijian naval division and other stakeholders in the operation.

Captain Gray said: “There are so many vessels out there within the Fiji EEZ. It is important that we get out there and inspect them to make sure that they are in regulation and fishing is done sustainably.

“Infringements range from not declaring their catch, status of their licenses and others.

“If there were illegal activities or catch the vessels would be escorted back to port and handed over to the Fijian authorities for legal action.”

Meanwhile, the Navy Commander, Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake said working together the infer probability between maritime nation is vital.

“Operation Wasawasa allowed the two navies (Fiji and New Zealand) to reengage and learn from each other.

“It also allowed us to practice best practice on how things are done when carrying out such work.

“Operation Wasawasa I and II has strengthened our relationship.”

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