Operation Rai Balang: Joint Forces Combat IUU Fishing to Secure Sustainable Fisheries Future

Enhancing maritime security and promoting sustainable fisheries management across the Pacific is a key outcome of Operation Rai Balang, which came to a close last week.

Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Director General, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, highlighted the significance of the FFA-led Operation Rai Balang.

“This operation exemplifies the spirit of regional collaboration and determination among Pacific Island nations. By tackling IUU fishing head-on, we are not only preserving our marine resources but also securing the livelihoods and food security of our people.

Operation Rai Balang reinforces FFA’s commitment to sustainable fisheries management and maritime security in the Pacific,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.

This two-week Operation saw Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Members, Pacific Quadrilateral Defence Coordination Group (Pacific QUADs) and partners safeguarding the invaluable marine resources of Pacific Island nations and the Western Central Pacific Ocean.

Eleven FFA Members participated (Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) alongside assets and personnel from the Pacific QUADs- Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States. 

Operation Rai Balang was conducted in the combined area of the 10 participating Members’ Economic Exclusion Zones (EEZ’s) and the adjacent high seas pockets in an area of operation (AO) approximately 13.3 million square kilometres which is over two times the land mass of Australia.

Operation Rai Balang, has an emphasis on boarding activities, cooperative surveillance engagements amongst FFA Members and the Pacific QUADs countries and the use of remote sensing information to drive intelligence led operation.

HONIARA, 18  March 2024

Media Contact:
Samantha Mattila
FFA Strategic Communications Manager
e: [email protected]
Ernest Ta'asi
FFA Communications Officer
e: ernest.ta’[email protected]
About Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)
FFA assists its 17-member countries to sustainably manage fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA provides expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision making on tuna management. Find out more here: www.ffa.int