AFMA’s Sea Rider provides expertise on Pacific fisheries and regional legal frameworks

An Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Fisheries Officer was embarked Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessel HMAS Melville onboard as a Sea Rider, providing subject matter expertise of Pacific fisheries and regional legal frameworks for Operation SOLANIA (Op Rai Balang 22).

Operation SOLANIA supports maritime surveillance and patrol operations coordinated by the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). These partner Operations aim to detect and deter illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing activity.

HMAS Melville patrolled around 195,000 square kilometres of the Federated States of Micronesia’s (FSM) Exclusive Economic Zone, significantly contributing to the Operation and providing supplementary maritime surveillance support to FSM.

AFMA’s Sea Rider Senior Fisheries Officer Damian White, was on board for the 16-day operation, focussing on providing context to Op Rai Balang 22, the FFA and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). He also presented FSM with two Freezer Inspection kits sourced by FFA with joint funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

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