28 Aug 2009

Pacific Ocean checks hailed a success

2:16 pm on 28 August 2009

An annual hunt for illegal maritime activities in the Pacific Ocean has been hailed as a success by the Forum Fisheries Agency.

The purpose of Operation Kurukuru was to detect activities such as illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, smuggling and people trafficking.

New Zealand, Australia, France and the United States provided planes and support.

Radio New Zealand International reports the 10-day operation covered an area of 10 million square kilometres in the exclusive economic zones of the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Of 191 vessels looked at, the FFA says 21 were boarded, three were apprehended and a fine of $US10,000 was levied.