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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Illegal Fishing Activities Suppressed In Solomon Islands
7 of 9 vessels boarded, inspected by Solomons’ patrol boats

By Daniel Namosuia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 22, 2012) – Operation Kurukuru 2012 has not found any illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in Solomon Islands’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The Fisheries Operations office in Honiara confirmed that there were no infringements detected in the waters of Solomon Islands.

However, there are 27 infringements detected in the whole operation throughout the Pacific.

Most of these were in the waters of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati and the Eastern High seas pocket managed by Cook Islands, FSM and Kiribati.

Of the 27 infringements, most were related to fishing vessels failing to display onboard their fishing license, violation of maritime regulations and failure to provide reports of entry and exit of the eastern high seas pocket.

Patrol boat Lata, which involved in the operation, managed to sight nine fishing vessels and boarded seven.

Operations Manager of Police maritime Luke Vaikawi said they could have done much better if the weather was fine.

He said out of a total of 233 hours of surveillance, 100 of those hours were spent on anchorage due to the bad weather experienced during the operation.

He added only 133 hours were actually used patrolling around the country’s EEZ in the rough waters.

Mr. Vaikawi said they could have boarded up to 20 vessels if weather permitted.

But he said he was pleased with the effort his boys have put into the operation.

"Patrol boat Auki could have joined in the operation, but due to shortage of human resources they have experienced at the moment, they cannot send her [due to] not meeting international maritime safety requirements," Mr. Vaikawi said.

During last year’s operation, ten vessels were boarded and five were held for IUU activities, which resulted in a fine of SB$7.2 million [US$972,720].

Solomon Star
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