Enhancing maritime security and promoting sustainable fisheries management across the Pacific is a key outcome of Operation Rai Balang, which came to a close last week.

Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Director General, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, highlighted the significance of the FFA-led Operation Rai Balang.

“This operation exemplifies the spirit of regional collaboration and determination among Pacific Island nations. By tackling IUU fishing head-on, we are not only preserving our marine resources but also securing the livelihoods and food security of our people.

Operation Rai Balang reinforces FFA’s commitment to sustainable fisheries management and maritime security in the Pacific,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.

This two-week Operation saw Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Members, Pacific Quadrilateral Defence Coordination Group (Pacific QUADs) and partners safeguarding the invaluable marine resources of Pacific Island nations and the Western Central Pacific Ocean.

Eleven FFA Members participated (Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) alongside assets and personnel from the Pacific QUADs- Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States. 

Operation Rai Balang was conducted in the combined area of the 10 participating Members’ Economic Exclusion Zones (EEZ’s) and the adjacent high seas pockets in an area of operation (AO) approximately 13.3 million square kilometres which is over two times the land mass of Australia.

Operation Rai Balang, has an emphasis on boarding activities, cooperative surveillance engagements amongst FFA Members and the Pacific QUADs countries and the use of remote sensing information to drive intelligence led operation.

Meanwhile, to kick off the 27th Annual Monitoring, Control, Surveillance Working Group (MCSWG) Meeting this week in Honiara, FFA held the 9th Regional Information Management Systems (RIMS) Workshop Monday.

A key part of the RIMS Workshop is to consult with FFA Members on the Regional Information Management (IM) Strategy.

The IM Strategy is designed to ensure that the FFA Secretariat and its Members have access to national and regional fisheries data and information using updated data-generating tech solutions.

FFA Director General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen addressed the workshop: “One of the key goals of these annual regional Information Management Strategy workshops, is to ensure that all FFA member countries are aware of the latest IMS developments and provide a forum for discussing IMS-related work. This venue also provides a platform to report to our members on the progress of IMS developments both regionally and nationally.”

The RIMS workshop’s objectives this year are to update FFA Members on technologies used in fisheries data, advance regional information and surveillance strategies, and assess cybersecurity postures regionally and nationally.

This story was originally published at FFA on 18 March 2024, reposted via PACNEWS.

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