New Zealand Navy en route on Fiji patrols

HMNZS TAUPO P3570 - IMO 9368522. Picture: shipspotting.com

THE Royal New Zealand Navy’s(RNZN) inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Taupo left Auckland today to spend the next three months conducting maritime patrols in Fiji.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) together  with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries, will help Fiji patrol its exclusive economic zone(EEZ) and train its Navy sailors for the second consecutive year.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Tim Gall, said the combined maritime surveillance operations with Fiji would contribute to the multinational effort to ensure sustainable management of fishery resources in the South West Pacific.

“We also expect the patrols to deepen collaboration between New Zealand and Fiji government agencies and strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries,” Major General Gall said.

In 2017, the NZDF sent inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Hawea to Fiji with about 550 vessels boarded and 110 alleged infringements detected. About 50 Fiji Navy sailors, 27 Customs Officers and 19 Fishery Officers were also trained on Hawea.

Maritime Component Commander RNZN Captain Dave McEwan,  said learning was a two-way process and the New Zealand sailors learnt as much from their Fiji Navy partners.