A shiprider agreement has been signed to enable US Coast Guard vessels to assist Kiribati in policing its vast ocean zone of more than two million square kilometres.
The Pacific Magazine reports that the US Ambassador to Kiribati Steven McGann has signed off on the agreement with Kiribati's Secretary for Foreign Affairs Tesse Eria Lambourne.
US Coast Guard crafts - including planes and boats - will assist Kiribati's lone patrol boat, Te Anoai, in searching for fishing boats violating fishing agreements, vessels used for drug trafficking and policing Kiribati's marine resources which are the economic backbone of the country.
The agreement also allows observers from the Kiribati Maritime Law Enforcement Agency to travel on the US Coast Guard crafts.
The US Coast Guard has completed similar shiprider agreements with the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.