Fisheries patrols build relationships

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Des Paroz (author), LSIS Kayla Hayes (photographer)

Topic(s): Illegal fishing

Executive Officer HMAS Wollongong, Lieutenant Mark Doggett is greeted by traditional Balinese dancers on the wharf after the ship entered Benoa Harbour. (photo: ABIS Kayla Hayes)
Executive Officer HMAS Wollongong, Lieutenant Mark Doggett is greeted by traditional Balinese dancers on the wharf after the ship entered Benoa Harbour.

Ships and aircraft from the Australian Defence Force and the Indonesian Armed Forces engaged recently for the fifth Australian-Indonesian Coordinated Patrol of fisheries on the respective sides of the boundary of the two nations’ Exclusive Economic Zones.

Australian Defence Force units including the Armidale class patrol boat HMAS Wollongong and Air Force AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft joined together with Indonesian ships KRI Sampari and KRI Layang along with Indonesian maritime patrol aircraft to conduct 'AUSINDO CORPAT 2016', which specifically targeted illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activity.

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Scott Wilson said that the patrols allowed each nation to cooperatively develop skills to interoperate while conducting an important operation to detect, deter and prosecute illegal fishing activities.

"This is an important information sharing exercise, and each time Australia and Indonesia work together on these programs we get better in all aspects,” he said.

“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity, while remaining a concern, has seen a marked decline over the years – undoubtedly a result of activities like this.

“At a Navy-to-Navy level, the engagement with the Indonesians was fantastic, being great hosts for the final part of the 2016 Patrol in Bali,” Lieutenant Commander Wilson said.

The Commanding Officer of Layang, Major Nopriadi, reinforced the strong partnership.

“There was excellent coordination of all activities throughout AUSINDO CORPAT 2016, which allowed us to work as a combined task force to achieve the objectives,” Major Nopriadi said.

“This was a reflection of the good relations developed before, during and following the patrol.

“My ship’s company and I were pleased to be able to enter Bali together with Wollongong and to participate together at a sport’s day on Nusa Dua beach, and to join together for some other functions to share experiences.”

The sports day involved around 20 crew from each nation in mixed teams participating in traditional games, including beach volleyball and tug-o-war, as well as some unique Indonesian challenges.

The closing ceremony was a chance to share lessons learned so that future patrols may yield further successes, and was followed by an official dinner where crew and official dignitaries were able to experience Balinese culture.

During AUSINDO CORPAT 2016 Australia and Indonesia conducted fisheries patrols within its jurisdiction around Ashmore Island. A number of fishing vessels were investigated by the combined task force and while no illegal activities were detected, the opportunity was used to deter illegal fishing activity and monitor legal fishing in the region.