The Royal New Zealand Navy’s offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago leaves Auckland to conduct fisheries patrols and port visits to the south west Pacific.
5 June 2016
The Royal New Zealand Navy offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago will sail from the Devonport Naval Base at 4pm today, bound for the south west Pacific to conduct fisheries patrols and port visits over the next two months.
Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the ship will be carrying out the patrols to help detect and deter illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activity on behalf of several Pacific Islands countries.
Port visits to Fiji, Tuvalu, Samoa and Tonga are also scheduled, as part of defence diplomacy activities.
“We have been supporting fisheries management in the south west Pacific by deploying our ships and aircraft to conduct these annual patrols. Vessels fishing for tuna will be the focus of our inspections,” MAJGEN Gall said.
The operation is sponsored by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the ship will carry fisheries officers from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Pacific Islands countries.
MAJGEN Gall said a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft will conduct surveillance sorties in support of Otago’s maritime patrols.
“We contribute to maritime surveillance in the region as New Zealand is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency,” MPI compliance manager Gary Orr said.
“Overfishing of tuna stocks affects Pacific Islands countries. By conducting these patrols, we help progress the Pacific-wide campaign to educate and improve compliance with existing laws and regulations.”
For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980