RFNS PUAMAU key to Fiji's maritime security

May 18, 2024 4:45 pm


Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the recent influx of drug detections across the country highlights the critical role of maritime security.

He adds that these incidents indicate a delivery method that would have only been possible by sea.

Speaking at the commissioning of the naval vessel RFNS PUAMAU in Suva today, he emphasizes the importance of fostering maritime security capabilities.

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The vessel is a donation by Australia under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

The Prime Minister says the vessel will play a significant role in fortifying Fiji’s ability to combat threats such as illegal fishing and transnational organized crime.

“Non-traditional threats posed by traditional transnational crime, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and the national security impacts of climate change and environmental change.”

Rabuka also stresses the importance of maritime security and domain awareness as critical national strategic priorities.

“The National Development Plan and the National Security Defense Review not only recognize Fiji’s dependency on its oceanic resources for livelihood and economic security but also emphasize maritime security and maritime domain awareness as key cornerstones of national strategic priorities that emphasize the imperative of fostering maritime security capabilities.”

The vessel is named after the late Able Seaman Timo Puamau, who died on board a naval vessel that was torpedoed in Solomon Island waters at the peak of World War II in the Pacific.