15 Nov 2010

Fisheries surveillance exercise in Pacific see 35 vessels boarded

7:42 pm on 15 November 2010

The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency says the latest co-ordinated maritime surveillance operation led to two vessels being apprehended amid concerns at illegal fishing.

Operation Kurukuru 2010 involved Pacific countries co-operating for a ten day period to detect illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

It involved approximately 550 people who located 195 foreign fishing vessels.

35 of those ships were boarded and two, one in Tuvalu and one in Solomon Islands have been apprehended and escorted to their national ports for further investigation.

The ship investigated in Tuvalu was found to have excessive shark fins and the owners paid a ten thousand US dollar fine.

Two other vessels were cited for minor infringements.

The operation involved police, fisheries and military personnel from most Pacific island countries, and Australia, New Zealand, France and US.