5 May 2017

NZ Navy vessel's arrival in Fiji seen as boost against illegal fishing

9:14 am on 5 May 2017

The arrival of a New Zealand Navy vessel in Fiji is being hailed as a boost in the fight against illegal fishing right across the South Pacific.

HMNZS Hawea sailing out from Devonport Naval base

HMNZS Hawea sailing out from the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland Photo: PHOTO NZ

HMNZS Hawea arrived in Suva harbour this week to help patrol Fiji's Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial waters, and help train its navy.

It's the first time one of the New Zealand Navy's inshore patrol vessels had been deployed to the South Pacific.

The CEO of the Fiji Fish Marketing Group Darryl Hodson said the New Zealand Navy's presence makes a strong statement.

"Now that the Kiwis are actually making a bit of a stand and coming out to try and help out in this area, obviously it will be a spinoff to other areas," he said.

"Whatever happens here in Fiji all those illegal fishing boats will soon know what us going on here. I'm sure you will find they will stop wherever they're doing it everywhere else in the South Pacific."

Darryl Hodson said HMNZS Hawea's arrival in Fiji also shows an easing in the relationship between New Zealand and Fiji.