The Maritime Wing successfully completed Operation Rai Balang along side its pacific and regional partners.
Operation Rai Balang is “a regional monitoring control and surveillance operation intended to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Pacific.”
The implemented operation consists of Forum Fisheries Agency member states (FFA), with Samoa joining the operation for the first time this year.
Ten of our Maritime police officers were involved in the operation conducting patrols around our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) ranging at 200 nautical miles specifically to boarding of vessels.
During the first week of operation, Rai Balang had five (5)of our crew members patrol the North side of our EEZ, with the other five (5) members patrolling the South side of our waters on the final week; with the crew successfully conducted six (6) boarding.
“Even though we faced difficult weather patterns within the two weeks, we were able to complete the operation,” said Chief Engineer Tipiloma Stowers.
The patrolling team included a representative from Fisheries, the assisting fishing vessel- the yellowfin and the crew.
Operation Rai Balang is “one of four targeted operations hosted by the FFA annually”
The regional operation ran from the 6th of March to the 17th of March, 2023.