FFA Regional Aerial Surveillance aircraft in Solomon Is
The Solomon Islands Government has welcomed the FFA Regional Aerial Surveillance aircraft currently operating out of Henderson Airport and undertaking fisheries surveillance in the Solomon Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
At an event hosted at Henderson Airport this afternoon, the Australian High Commissioner, H. E. Mr. Roderick Brazier, Acting Permanent Secretary for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Mr. Ferral Lasi, and MFMR staff were able to join the FFA Director General, Dr. Manu Tupou-Roosen, in viewing the aircraft.
Mr Lasi commended the FFA for continuously raising the bar in its efforts to address IUU fishing.
“Maritime security is of paramount importance to the Solomon Islands and our Pacific Island countries which cover a huge expanse of ocean area. The ability to effectively monitor our vast oceans and its resources, which we greatly depend on, is fundamental to our livelihoods and we thank the Government of Australia for its assistance with this important Program” he said.
The Director General thanked the Solomon Islands Government for their cooperation in ensuring the aircraft was provided all the necessary clearances and support to undertake surveillance in the Solomon Is EEZ on behalf of the government.
“The Aerial Surveillance Program is a significant addition to the FFA MCS framework. We are really pleased that the Solomon Islands Government is actively utilising this valuable service which is available to all Pacific Island members of the FFA. Having this additional capability to monitor our EEZs from the air will send a clear message that there is no place for illegal fishing in our region. We join in thanking the Government of Australia for the continued significant support to FFA.”
The Aerial Surveillance Program is a component of the Australian funded Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP) which is a 30-year commitment by Australia to regional maritime security. Under the Program, Australia has contracted a civilian air surveillance service provider to conduct the surveillance using two King Air aircraft that are fitted out with state of art sensor avionics and communications technology. Operational control of the Program rests with the FFA.
(For more information on the Program please contact Tevita Tupou on [email protected].)