3 Apr 2013

US and the Marshall Islands to work more closely on maritime surveillance

4:26 pm on 3 April 2013

The United States has agreed to extend its maritime surveillance assistance to the Marshall Islands.

The U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Thomas Armbruster and the Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Phillip Muller have this week signed an amendment to a 2008 maritime surveillance and interdiction cooperation agreement known as the 'Shiprider'.

Mr Muller says it is a new development in the relationship with the US.

He says U.S. Navy ships will now be working with the Marshall Islands enforcement agencies to patrol the exclusive economic zone.

Since 2008, the Shiprider agreement has provided authority for the Coast Guard vessels to assist the Marshall Islands with maritime law enforcement, primarily focusing on fisheries.

This meant Marshall Islands law enforcement officials could travel on Coast Guard vessels - the new agreement now allows them to also be 'shipriders' on Navy and other U.S. Defense Department ships.