Indonesia and Australia cooperate on Gannet 5Joint Indonesian-Australian operation Gannet 5 is currently in progress. Photo: AFMA

Australia and Indonesia are currently engaged in a co-operative operation aimed at safeguarding territorial waters and deterring illegal activity that affects both nations.

The Australian Border Force (ABF), Indonesian Coast Guard BAKAMLA, the Directorate General of Surveillance for Marine and Fisheries Resources (PSDKP) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) are conducting the fifth co-ordinated maritime patrol on the Indonesia – Australia maritime boundary.

These joint patrols between Maritime Border Command (MBC), which sits within the Australian Border Force, BAKAMLA, PSDKP and AFMA have been carried out since 2018.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has not adversely affected our ongoing co-operation, the strength of Australia and Indonesia’s maritime security arrangements and ability to co-ordinate efforts on-water is seen today through the achievement of the fifth Operation (Gannet 5),” said VADM A’an Kurnia, Chief of BAKAMLA.

The primary operational objective for Gannet 5 is to detect, deter, and combat illegal activities at sea and also to strengthen the cooperation between the related Indonesian and Australian agencies. The focus for this operation includes IUU fishing, people smuggling and human trafficking, environmental protection and transnational serious organised crimes that occur within the joint operational area. The key geographical focus for this operation is the eastern region of Indonesia that shares a maritime boundary with Australia.

“This is one of our collaborations with Australia within the framework of the Indonesia-Australia Fisheries Surveillance Forum, even though the patrol is carried out in the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the operation is strictly implemented using the Covid-19 prevention protocols,” said Antam Novambar, Plt. Director General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision said.

Gannet 5 commenced in March, with a workshop to share knowledge on Maritime Domain Awareness, conducted between ABF, BAKAMLA, PSDKP and AFMA.  Since March, regular online meetings and information sharing has been conducted to discuss the requirements for the first joint patrol starting 24th May and running through to 26th May.

“Australia is ever vigilant when it comes to threats within our maritime domain,” said Rear Admiral Mark Hill, Commander for Maritime Border Command.

“The economic prosperity, safety and security of our communities is ensured where Indonesian and Australia continue to co-operate through Operation Gannet and other similar cross border maritime security operations.”

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