27 Oct 2014

Charges likely after Pacific fishing surveillance

7:23 am on 27 October 2014

Aircraft from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and France have completed about 180 flying hours as part of the latest fishing surveillance exercise in the Pacific.

The ten day long Operation Kurukuru by the Forum Fisheries Agency, which was backed by patrol vessels, finished on Friday.

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Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

It resulted in 12 boats being found potentially in breach of their fishing licences after a total of 114 vessels across the exclusive economic zones of Pacific Forum nations were boarded.

The FFA's deputy director general, Wez Norris, says they found a range of alleged offences had been committed.

"Some of them were relatively minor breaches that can be corrected through infringement notices and fines. Other ones were more serious and that will involve investigations, co-operation with the flag states of the vessels and prosecution down the line."

The FFA's Wez Norris.