Forum Fisheries Agency Welcomes Bigger, Faster Patrol Boats

Australia contributes to Pacific Patrol Boat program

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 1, 2017) – The Forum Fisheries Agency has welcomed a move by Australia to provide Pacific countries with bigger, faster patrol boats.

Two decades ago Australia gifted 20 patrol boats to Pacific countries which continue to be on the front line of regional security, monitoring and surveillance of the Pacific tuna fishery and the first response in times of natural disaster.

The deputy director general of the FFA, Wez Norris, said the Pacific patrol boat roll out would begin next year and would continue until the entire Pacific patrol boat fleet was replaced.

It was part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program which would see $US1.5 billion spent in the region over the next three decades.

Mr Norris said the generous initiative alongside Australia's additional commitment to provide the FFA with around the clock aerial support for regional surveillance would greatly strengthen security in the region.

"These new patrol boats will be quite a lot more capable both in terms of their size and therefore their ability to go to sea in rough weather."

"But also in terms of their communications ability so that they can benefit to the greatest extent possible from all of this information that we share around the region," he said.

Radio New Zealand International
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