Naval partnership fills gaps

Royal NZ Navy's Konrad Cook teaches members of the Fiji Naval Squadron on how to operate the 50-calibre machine gun onboard the HMNZS HAWEA in Fiji waters last year. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Royal NZ Navy's Konrad Cook teaches members of the Fiji Naval Squadron on how to operate the 50-calibre machine gun onboard the HMNZS HAWEA in Fiji waters last year. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

ONE of the major challenges for Fiji is ensuring the sustainable management of Fiji’s fisheries and its resources because of the demand locally and internationally.

These were the words of Fiji Navy Commander Captain Humphrey Tawake during a press conference at the naval base in Walu Bay last week.

Capt Tawake said the Royal New Zealand Navy assisted them last year with Operation Wasawasa One with the deployment of HMNZS Hawea.

“I think firstly it’s the capability platform that I have now because of the gaps that I have that have been taken care of with the support of the Royal New Zealand Navy,” Capt Tawake said.

“Last year, they assisted us when it was first with Operation Wasawasa One and we had Hawea here. Now with the continuation of this in 2018 that will close that gap that I have and that presence and deterrence out in Fiji waters.”

Capt Tawake said the first phase of Operation Wasawasa One was a success.

“I think last year was quite a successful operation for Wasawasa One. We had over 538 warnings with about 99 infringements that were recorded by Hawea, that is a huge success working together not only with the Fiji Navy but with fisheries, Customs and maritime safety,” he said.

Capt Tawake added the infringements warnings ranged from a wide range of issues including fisheries, maritime safety and pollution.

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