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More joint Navy operations welcome

July 21, 2017 2:06 am

The Fiji Navy has welcomed the opportunity to learn as well as teach their counterparts in the New Zealand Navy.

The joint operation including officials from the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority and Ministry of Fisheries has boarded 284 vessels and detected 50 infringements since May.

Navigating Officer from the Fiji Navy Ensign Samuela Rajale who has been attached to the visiting HMNZS Hawea says more operations of this nature will be beneficial to the region.

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“This is a good learning curve for us and for the New Zealand comrades, the Navy comrades, we’ve been sharing experiences and knowledge throughout the trip and if future operations come about, it’ll be a good thing for everyone.”

Commanding Officer for the NZ Navy Patrol boat Lieutenant Dave Luhrs says more policing is needed with the trend of safety infringements cause for concern.

“There’s certainly been a trend around the Fijian waters, Yes, roughly one out of every 5 or 6 vessels that we’ve boarded have had an infringement of some sort and we have noticed some improvement over the period and there’s slightly a higher level of offending within inshore fisheries than with other areas.”

The New Zealand Navy vessel, the HMNZS Hawea and her crew will be in Fiji until the end of October to assist Fiji with the monitoring and surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

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