HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Fisheries Surveillance Mission Accomplished - Operation Tui Moana 12
Fisheries surveillance operation Tui Moana 12 conducted from 12-15th June 2012 has been successfully completed.
Tui Moana 12 was originally conceived as a bilateral operation between Samoa and Cook Islands to exercise the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement (NTSA) which allows the two nations to conduct fisheries law enforcement operations in each other’s Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).
In the end Tui Moana became a larger operation involving Tonga, Niue and Tuvalu and supported by available Quadrilateral Defence Forces (QUAD) ships and aircraft.
This involved surveillance assets including warships, patrol boats and aircraft - CIPPB Te Kukupa, MV Nafanua, HMNZS Te Kaha, HMNZS Otago, HMNZS Canterbury, FPB Arago, French Navy Gardian aircraft, U.S Coastguard C130 Hercules and RNZAF P3 Orion.
Coordination was carried out at the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) established at the Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre (RFSC) at the FFA Secretariat in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
One of the Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) youngest fisheries officers Mr Roland Maru was attached to the JCC in Honiara to serve as a watch-keeper. Because of the different time zones this involved working long shifts starting from 4 am in the morning until 8 pm at night, 7 days a week.
Says Roland “I enjoyed being part of this major operation especially seeing the involvement of New Zealand, I really enjoyed it as this was my first experience of a surveillance operation of this magnitude.”
Because of the vast size of the Cook Island’s ocean it takes a lot of coordination to place boarding parties at the right place and the right time. Using reports conveyed by National Headquarters from surveillance flights coverage and using satellite tracking technology, Roland was able to help direct patrol boats to various targets.
MMR had requested that only Cook Islanders to board the fishing vessels in Cook Island waters.
The boarding party of eight comprised of six Cook Islands Maritime Police and two MMR officers who were based onboard the New Zealand’s Navy the HMNZS Otago.
The Maritime Police oversee the boarding operation and armed Police officers provide the security detail while the MMR surveillance officers carry out the inspections and collect fisheries intelligence.
The MMR surveillance officer Mr Sairusi Sai is originally from Fiji and used to be a fishing Captain.
“My past experience of working as a Captain onboard the Chinese longliners was useful when we had to communicate to the fishing Captains and search their vessels”, says Sai.
During Operation Tui Moana 12 a total of seven fishing vessels were successfully boarded and inspected.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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