A senior constable from Tuvalu has become the first female Chief of Staff chosen to lead the latest operation to combat illegal fishing in the Pacific region.
Operation Kurukuru 2018 was a joint fisheries and maritime exercise between the 17 Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency countries and the partner countries of Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States.
The operation ran over the first two weeks of October and covered 21 million square kilometres, including 52 hours of aerial surveillance sighting 181 vessels.
A number of illegal fishing boats were detected and patrol boats were sent to investigate.
The head of the FFA, James Movick, said the agency is very supportive of women in fisheries management and he congratulated Senior Constable Niulakita on an outstanding job, saying her contribution to the success of the operation was hugely appreciated.
Senior Constable Niulakita said being appointed as the first female Chief of Staff has really encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone and do what she can do to work together with other members from the region to complete the successful operation.