18 Jul 2016

FFA welcomes Australia funding Pacific fishing surveillance

6:23 am on 18 July 2016

The Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency says the offer by Australia to fund aerial surveillance in member states' fishing zones will allow the agency to charter a mission specific aircraft.

James Movick said Australia would be responsible for the crewing and maintenance of the aircraft, with the FFA regional fisheries surveillance centre managing its deployment.

"The Australian military authorities will be the ones to contract a suitable aircraft and at this stage it's not known whether it will be one aircraft or several aircraft."

"But certainly they will have to be aircraft that are capable of carrying the suite of electronics that will be required for this type of surveillance," he said.

Mr Movick said the aerial surveillance would be required 365 days a year and would create two additional watch officer roles for the FFA.

He said the surveillance was supplemental to all existing initiatives and will work in tandem with existing surveillance assets.

The scheme starts in July next year and has an annual budget of $US11 million for each of the next 30 years.

Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency, James Movick.

Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency, James Movick. Photo: RNZI / Monica Miller