The first maritime patrol between the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Papua New Guinea (PNG) security personnel to strengthen regional security and resource management in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), was deemed a success after concluding.
Building on the recently ratified bilateral agreement to counter illicit transnational maritime activities, the U.S. Coast Guard joined hands with PNG agencies – the Defence Force, Customs Services, National Fisheries Authority (NFA), and the Department of Transport’s Maritime Security Division – to make this historic operation a reality. Ship-riders from PNG agencies spent a cumulative 10 days countering illegal maritime activities, including illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
Notable achievements of the patrol include:
Six contact and observation reports of fishing vessels made within the PNG EEZ, including a notable vessel monitoring system violation leading to immediate action from the National Fisheries Authority in which the vessel was fined for failing to operate their VMS in accordance with PNG requirements.
Four bilateral boarding conducted on foreign fishing vessels targeting tuna in the PNG EEZ, which showed no violations but served to regulate activities in PNG’s EEZ, deter illegal activity and enhance knowledge concerning the compliance of foreign flagged fishing fleet operating in PNG’s EEZ.
Intensive planning sessions leading to the enhanced use of maritime domain awareness tools and the development of strategies.
A subject matter exchange on law enforcement took place aboard USCGC Myrtle Hazard, involving multiple PNG partner agencies.
Cultural exchanges, including sharing customs, traditions, and histories.
The operations, led by PNG and supported by the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Coast Guard upon invitation from the PNG Government, reinforced the importance of the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries.