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Tui Moana Operation Boards Vessels For Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported Activities

The operation known as Tui Moana was to set up to detect, deter, report an/or apprehend potential illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing activity in the Fiji waters.
12 Jun 2019 17:29
Tui Moana Operation Boards Vessels For Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported Activities
Members of the Royal Fiji Military Forces Naval Division on their way to inspect a fishing vessel as part of the Tui Moana operation in the Suva Harbour

Fifty-seven fishing vessels were boarded during the 12-day Forum Fisheries Agencies (FFA) and Fiji Navy coordinated surveillance operation which ended on Friday, May 31, 2019.

The operation known as Tui Moana was to set up to detect, deter, report an/or apprehend potential illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing activity in the Fiji waters.

The Tui Moana operation, involved seven Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency member nations including – Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu, and the Quadrilateral Defense Coordination Group (QUADs) made up of Australia, New Zealand, France and the United States defense forces.

FFA and the Fiji Navy coordinated the surveillance operation inspecting and surveying the status of international fishing vessels currently in the Fiji waters.

FFA’s Director of Fisheries Operations, Allan Rahari said they conduct four operations every year and Tui Moana was the second for this year.

“During the recent operation, 57 vessels were boarded and only five minor infringements were found including one vessel with a fish species that was not in accordance with its licence, another with an unsigned logbook after a day of fishing and one that was not carrying line cutters and de-hookers – a requirement for all longline vessels to help ensure they can promptly release sea turtles that are caught or entangled,” Mr Rahari said.

“These infringements have been reported to member countries for further investigations,” he said.

Mr Rahari said they had found a steady decline in fisheries infringements in the Fiji waters and this could be due to their regular coordinated regional patrols.

Royal Fiji Navy Ship Kikau was used during the 12-day operation.

As a regional surveillance operation, Operation Tui Moana involved over 100 personnel from across the region, with joint coordination led by the FFA’s Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre (RFSC) team.

During the operation eight police, fisheries and military personnel were based at the RFSC and trained in the use of the vessel monitoring systems and associated software.

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