US coast guard to detect illegal activities
June 27, 2019 4:20 pm
The United States is committed to assisting Fiji in detecting illegal activities in our Economic Exclusive Zone.
This follows an eight-day patrol by the US Coast Guard Stratton which started from Hawaii and finished off in Fiji.
Captain of the USCGC Stratton Bob Little says the presence of the US in Fiji waters is an indication of the strong support to counter any illegal activities.
“We found no illicit activities well at least during the time of our patrol and it was a fairly short patrol as we had a lot of distance to cover to keep our schedule but we indeed enjoy the ability to exchange information and to prepare for future patrols.”
Last year, Fiji signed a Shiprider agreement which allowed Fijian defense and law enforcement officers to embark on U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy vessels to observe, protect, board, and search vessels suspected of violating laws or regulations in Fiji’s waters.
Ministry of Fisheries Enforcement Officer Josaia Maiwai who was also on board the US vessel traveling from Hawaii says these patrols are beneficial.
“The patrol went according to plan and not much inspections were done though when we came into Fiji waters and this was basically due to the bad weather we faced but a lot has transpired though in terms of dialogue exchange and sharing of ideas.”
The US Coast Guard Stratton will be berthed at the Lautoka Wharf for to refuel and restock.