Combatting illegal fishing
15 Aug 2016
Operation Nasse uncovered five serious and 13 minor violations of the WCPFC CMMs Photo: Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Australia has engaged with international partners to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing under Operation Nasse, a multilateral maritime surveillance operation involving France, New Zealand and the USA.
The focus of the operation has been to deter IUU fishing and identify operators not complying with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Conservation Management Measures (CMM).
Peter Venslovas, general manager of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), said IUU fishing was a shared problem and Operation Nasse demonstrates that international cooperation is crucial.
“An operation like this provides us with an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with international counterparts, which is essential when fighting illegal fishing,” he said.
“The outcomes of Operation Nasse demonstrate that regionally we have the resources, intelligence and capabilities to protect marine stocks.”
Operation Nasse, which lasted for three weeks, involved air surveillance, sea inspections and maritime intelligence sharing.
Air and sea patrols resulted in 42 vessel inspections. Five serious and 13 minor violations of the WCPFC CMMs were reported and the flag state of each vessel was notified.
Through MBC, Australia deployed one Dash 8 surveillance plane and the Cape Class patrol boat ADV Cape Nelson. This was in addition to the French Guardian surveillance aircraft and Patrol Boat La Moqueuse and the New Zealand offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago.
Shared fish stocks in the Pacific Ocean, such as tuna, are also targeted by commercial and recreational fishers along Australia’s Eastern seaboard.
Mr Venslovas said that by helping to protect these shared resources from illegal fishing, Australia’s local fisheries are also benefitting.
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