The P-3K2 Orion aircraft is patrolling the Solomon Islands’ EEZ Photo: FFAThe P-3K2 Orion aircraft is patrolling the Solomon Islands’ EEZ Photo: FFA

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is currently conducting three days of aerial surveillance over Solomon Islands’ exclusive economic zone, in order to monitor the activities of tuna fleets.

The patrol was requested by the Solomon Islands government as part of ongoing surveillance by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) to detect and deter illegal fishing activities. The tasking includes surveillance by P-3K2 Orion aircraft of the Western border as well as the East and South fishing areas.

“Maritime patrols are a key way of enhancing our knowledge of what’s occurring at sea,” explained FFA director general, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen. “It also acts as an invaluable deterrent for illegal activities.”

“We congratulate the government of Solomon Islands and the government of New Zealand for this cooperation and continued commitment to combatting illegal fishing in our region,” she added.

New Zealand contributes to regional efforts to tackle illegal fishing to ensure fisheries are managed effectively for future generations.

“Fisheries are a vital resource and value asset of Pacific nations, one that must be preserved and protected,” said the New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Georgina Roberts. “Surveillance operations like this are ways in which New Zealand can continue to support Pacific nations to preserve this taonga.”

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