Operation Tui Moana 2024: Pacific region combats Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing to secure sustainable fisheries future

Combatting IUU fishing to promote sustainable fisheries across the Pacific is a key outcome of Operation Tui Moana 2024 (OPTM24), which came to a close today.

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

FFA Director General, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, highlighted the significance of the FFA-led Operation Tui Moana.

“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 Tui Moana reinforces FFA’s commitment to sustainable fisheries management and maritime security in the Pacific,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.

The Operation involved pre-op training and post briefings at the FFA Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre in Honiara. Photo: FFA Media

Nine FFA Members participated (Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu) alongside technology partners, assets and personnel from the Pacific QUADs- Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States.

Operation Tui Moana was conducted in the combined area of the seven participating Members’ Economic Exclusion Zones (EEZ’s) and the adjacent high seas pockets in an area of operation (AO) approximately six million square kilometres which is approximately the land mass of Australia.

The Tonga Royal Navy took part in the Operation, joining forces with nine FFA Members and partners from the Pacific QUADs. Operation Tui Moana covered approximately 6 million square metres over two weeks. Photo: Supplied

The United States Coast Guard providing aerial support. Photo: Supplied

Operation Tui Moana, placed an emphasis on boarding activities, cooperative surveillance engagements amongst FFA Members and the Pacific QUADs countries, ensuring Members complete enforcement actions to address IUU fishing and potential violations, and the use of remote sensing information to drive the intelligence-led operation.

There were over 500 vessel contacts during the Operation using air, surface and remote-sensing platforms, with a total of 80 boardings in port and at sea.

As part of the outcome of MDA analysis and inspections, there were 10 vessels of interest (VOI) detected and reported to Members for further investigation. Potential infringements include non-compliance with national controls and WCPFC conservation management measures.

A group photo of the Operation Tui Moana team at the FFA Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Photo: FFA Media

As part of the the FFA Secretariats approach to enhance and strengthen capability of Members, the Operation kicked off with pre-op training on 6 – 10 May 2024, involving 22 secondees from the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Australia Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Fiji Fisheries and Navy, New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI), Samoa Fisheries and Maritime Police, Tonga Fisheries and Navy, Tuvalu Fisheries and Maritime Police, United States Coast Guard (USCG), and partners from Starboard Maritime Intelligence system, Joint Analytical Cell (Global Fishing Watch, IMCS Network and Skylight), Canadian Government Dark Vessel Detection (DVD), US Military Joint Integrated Task Force West (JIATF-W (Amentum)) and Pacific Community (SPC).

HONIARA, 24 May 2024

Media Contact:
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

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