Under the Australian-funded (Defence-led) Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP), a fleet of high tech, 40-metre long Guardian-class ocean patrol vessels are being built to replace the old Pacific patrol boats owned and run by Pacific island countries. The new vessels are equipped with the latest detection and seafaring technology, have a significantly greater operating range, and use updated satellite communications systems.
The replacement of the Pacific Class Patrol vessels has presented an opportunity to engage Parties to the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement (NTSA). As the Guardian Patrol vessels are commissioned, AFMA is using this as an opportunity to conduct additional surveillance in the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ).
As the Guardian Patrol vessels transit Australian waters, on their way to their home ports, AFMA are asking crews to keep an eye out for any foreign fishing vessels (FFVs) in the AFZ. The Tuvalu Guardian Patrol Vessel, HMTSS Te Mataili II, is the first vessel to support this activity, and AFMA recently welcomed the Commanding Officer and the crew as a demonstration of our appreciation and commitment to the ongoing relationship.