9 Jun 2017

Joint naval team turns back fishing boats in Fiji

2:58 pm on 9 June 2017

Seven fishing vessels have been sent back to port in Fiji in the past week because of licensing and maritime safety issues.

The seven were from a total of 70 vessels boarded by combined New Zealand/Fiji naval team during the week.

A New Zealand Navy inshore patrol vessel, HMNZS Hawea, is in Fiji, providing help through to October while a Fiji vessel undergoes maintenance.

HMNZS Hawea

HMNZS Hawea Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Hawea commander, Lieutenant Dave Luhrs, said one of the vessels was escorted to Lautoka after it was found to be fishing without a licence.

He said the boarding team also found that the vessel's captain did not hold a master's licence.

Personnel from Fiji's Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority and the Fiji Navy, as well as New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries, are taking part in the patrols.

The chief of the Fiji Navy, Captain Humphrey Tawake, said the Hawea's deployment to Fiji was a big help in protecting its maritime resources and training its Navy personnel.

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