Minister thanks outgoing Kiwi high commissioner

THE Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau, has thanked outgoing New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, Mark Ramsden, for the role he played in providing assistance to the ministry.

Speaking at a farewell ceremony on Tuesday, Mr Koroilavesau said Mr Ramsden made a lot of positive impact on the ministry and the highlight of this co-operation between the high commission and the ministry was the six months deployment of the NZ Naval ship HMNZS Hawea to monitor Fiji’s EEZ.

“During the past 12 months since the ministry was established, I have had a lot of discussions and interactions with you in our intention to improve our capabilities in coastal fisheries,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“The reposition of Hawea created a lot of positive impact to Fiji. It has also highlighted to us to improve our capability in monitoring, surveillance of coastal fishing which has been forgotten for some time.”

Mr Ramsden said it felt like he was leaving at a time when the ministry and the high commission were just getting things in order.

“So, I think we are at a start of a partnership in coastal fisheries. I think the Hawea’s deployment has been hugely successful. It’s a great example of co-operation between New Zealand and Fiji because we here have a NZ naval ship stationed in Fiji, and Fijian navy, fisheries officers, revenue and customs officers on board the ship alongside their NZ counterparts and a bit over six months.”

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