DVIDS – News – Coast Guard Cutter Stratton Visits Fiji on Operation Blue Pacific Patrol


SUVA, Fiji – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton visited Fiji in February after being en route for 50 days in the Pacific to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

During the visit, Captain Stephen Adler, the Commanding Officer of the Stratton, met with members of the Fijian media to discuss the Coast Guard’s partnership with Fiji and their combined efforts to protect fisheries resources.

“Our relationships with our partner countries are more important than ever in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing,” Adler said. “We are pleased to work with our Fijian partners to maintain maritime sovereignty and security throughout the region.”

While in the country, the crew of the Stratton welcomed on board three Fijian horsemen who, with the assistance of Stratton’s law enforcement boarding teams, will ensure compliance with applicable Fijian fishing laws in the Fiji exclusive economic zone.

The Coast Guard’s mission to combat IUU fishing is key to protecting maritime governance and a rules-based international order to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Bilateral Vessel Agreements are a force multiplier for Fiji and the Coast Guard, as they enable Fiji law enforcement to observe, protect, board and search vessels suspected of breaking laws or regulations in Fijian waters with the support of Coast Guard personnel and vessels.

Speaking during a recent visit to Fiji, Secretary Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, said, “On safety, this week alone, three shipriders from Fiji join the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton to conduct patrols in support of maritime navigation. sovereignty and security. The United States is proud that many of Fiji’s future leaders will be trained at our military academies.

The fishing industry is an important source of food and income throughout the Pacific. Protecting this renewable resource is a priority for the United States and Pacific island nations, as IUU fishing in the Pacific has global impacts and effects.

Recently, IUU fishing has replaced piracy as the main global threat to maritime security and has the potential to have a global effect if left unchecked.

Prior to heading to Fiji, Stratton’s crew had worked with allied British, Australian, New Zealand and French naval forces as well as the US Navy in support of the Tongan government following the January 15 volcanic eruption.

The crew also conducted a number of exercises with allied partners, including helicopter operations with the armed forces in French Polynesia, replenishment at sea with the Royal New Zealand Navy ship Aotearoa and multiple exercises maneuver with the Royal Navy’s HMS Spey.

Stratton’s crew plans to travel to Papua New Guinea as representatives of the Coast Guard and the United States. The United States and Papua New Guinea want to sign a bilateral agreement to codify the two states’ strategic partnership in the Pacific and enable the Coast Guard to better assist Papua New Guinea in protecting the island nation’s sovereignty. on its EEZ against IUU fishing.

The Stratton is a 418-foot national security cutter capable of extensive worldwide deployment in support of homeland security and defense missions. NSCs regularly conduct operations in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans; their unparalleled combination of range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather conditions provides the mission flexibility needed to conduct vital strategic missions.

Operation Blue Pacific is a comprehensive, multi-mission Coast Guard enterprise that promotes safety, security, sovereignty and economic prosperity in Oceania while strengthening relationships among Pacific partner nations.

Date taken: 15.02.2022
Date posted: 15.02.2022 18:59
Story ID: 414703
Site: FJ

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