The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) HMNZS WELLINGTON assists the Vanuatu and Solomon Islands with patrolling their respective Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in the South-West Pacific
19 August 2015
The New Zealand Defence Force’s Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS WELLINGTON has arrived in Honiara after helping New Zealand’s South West Pacific neighbours patrol for illegal and unlicensed fishing activity in their waters.
WELLINGTON sailed from New Caledonia last Friday carrying two Senior Agents from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), and two Senior Agents from the Vanuatu Police Force (Maritime) to conduct a combined patrol of the Vanuatu and Solomon Islands’ Exclusive Economic Zones.
“By patrolling these waters, we are helping to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, which helps protect the livelihoods of communities in Pacific Island countries as well as in New Zealand,” said Commanding Officer of HMNZS WELLINGTON Lieutenant Commander Graham MacLean.
WELLINGTON’s assistance on this patrol was timely for the Vanuatu Police Force after their police patrol boat, which would usually be used for this type of tasking, was destroyed by Cyclone Pam in March this year.
During the patrol three vessels targeting tuna species were hailed inside Vanuatu waters and two more were hailed in the Solomon Islands region. The Navy assisted a combined team of Vanuatu Police Force and RSIPF to successfully board two of the five boats. The team checked the vessels’ information and confirmed there were no infringements.
“The combined efforts of the RSIPF, Vanuatu Police Force (Maritime) and Ship’s Company of WELLINGTON highlight once again the versatility of the Offshore Patrol Vessel to support regional activities and provide a force for good in the South West Pacific,” said Lieutenant Commander MacLean.
WELLINGTON will depart Honiara on Friday before heading back to sea on route for Papua New Guinea.
For more information please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980