Air Force monitors Southern Ocean fishing
Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
15 February 2002
Air Force monitors Southern Ocean fishing activities
Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff announced a RNZAF P3K Orion aircraft is today searching the Ross Sea for any unlicenced vessel fishing for Toothfish.
The surveillance flight, the first for the season, is in support of the Government’s policy of monitoring the Ross Sea, part of the area subject to the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
On board the aircraft to observe the operation is Dunedin South MP David Benson-Pope.
Captained by Flight Lieutenant Dean Fotti, the aircraft departed Dunedin at 1.25pm and is scheduled to return to Dunedin late tonight, Friday 15 February.
Mr Goff said the operation demonstrated New Zealand’s ongoing commitment to surveillance of Antarctic waters and followed the Australian arrest of two Russian flagged vessels conducting toothfish fishing in the South Indian Ocean last week, apparently without licences.
Seas south of New Zealand have been free of such activity so far this season, but remaining vigilant was critical, said Mr Goff.