Indonesia and Australia agree to joint operation against illegal fishing
Jakarta (ANTARA) – The governments of Indonesia and Australia have agreed to conduct a joint maritime patrol called Operation Gannet 5 to protect the maritime borders between the two countries, including against illegal fishing activities.
The coordinated cooperation of maritime patrols was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) held practically on Monday by representatives of the Indonesian Maritime Safety Agency (BAKAMLA), the Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), Australian Border Forces (ABF). and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).
Indonesia and Australia have maintained the commitment to continue to cooperate to promote regional stability, especially at the borders shared by the two countries, said on Monday Antam Novambar, acting director general of oversight of marine and fisheries resources. from the KKP ministry.
“This is one of our collaborations with Australia under the Indonesia-Australia Fisheries Watch Forum. Although the patrol is being conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the operation is strictly implemented using COVID-19 prevention protocols, ”noted Novambar.
GANNET 5 started in March 2021, with a knowledge sharing workshop on maritime domain knowledge, organized between ABF, BAKAMLA, PSDKP and AFMA. Since March, regular online meetings and information sharing have been held to discuss the requirements of the first joint patrol on May 24-26, 2021.
At the same time, according to a joint press release issued on Friday by ABF, AFMA, BAKAMLA and PSDKP, the cooperation marked the fifth coordinated maritime patrol on the maritime border between Indonesia and Australia.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted our ongoing cooperation, the strength of Australia’s and Indonesia’s maritime security agreements, and the ability to coordinate maritime efforts is seen today.” hui through the completion of the fifth operation (Northern Gannet 5), ”VADM A’an Kurnia, head of BAKAMLA, said.
GANNET 5 is part of the continuing efforts of Indonesia and Australia to safeguard our territorial waters. The upcoming operation will be conducted through integrated communication between the agencies involved, information exchange and joint patrol coordinated by vessels from BAKAMLA, PSDKP and MBC.
The main operational objective of GANNET 5 is to detect, deter and combat illegal activities at sea, in addition to strengthening cooperation between relevant Indonesian and Australian agencies. The objective of this operation includes illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; trafficking in persons and trafficking in human beings; and environmental protection and serious transnational organized crime occurring in the joint operational area.
The key geographic axis of this operation is the eastern region of Indonesia, which shares a maritime border with Australia.
During the operation, BAKAMLA will deploy the KN Tanjung Datu-301 patroller commanded by the LOC. Arif Rahman. This ship is equipped with 12.7 mm caliber heavy machine guns and a DSAR-15P 5.56 caliber personal defense weapon. The information exchange will also be supported by officers from the Indonesian Maritime Information Center (IMIC) located at BAKAMLA headquarters in Jakarta.
The ABF will deploy the ABFC Cape Nelson patrol vessel with two aircraft to conduct aerial surveillance during the operation. An AFMA officer will be on board the aircraft for fisheries surveillance and control activities. The patrols will be supported by MBC and AFMA, located at ABF headquarters in Canberra.
The PSDKP will deploy Orca 4, KP patrol boats (KP). Hiu 14 and aerial surveillance aircraft. In addition to its objective of thwarting IUU fishing practices, this operation will also target illegal fish aggregating devices (FADs) at the Indonesia-Australia border.
Rear Admiral Mark Hill, commander of Maritime Boundary Command, noted that the operation heightens Australia’s national security.
“Australia is always vigilant regarding threats to our maritime domain. However, these are common threats that affect not only Australia but our region as well. The economic prosperity, safety and security of our communities is ensured where Indonesia and Australia continue to cooperate on Operation Gannet and other similar cross-border maritime security operations, ”noted the Rear Admiral Hill.
Since 2018, these joint patrols between the Maritime Borders Command (MBC), which sits within the ABF, BAKAMLA, PSDKP and AFMA, aim to combat and mitigate illegal activities having an impact on the prosperity of countries.
This patrol is a key element of the commitment to strengthen maritime security, as part of the Maritime action plan which implements the Indonesia-Australia Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation, according to the joint statement.
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