Australia and Indonesia combine forces to tackle illegal fishing
20 September 2013
Illegal fishing has been the focus of a combined Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Indonesian armed forces operation, concluding in Kupang, West Timor this week.
The fourth annual Australian and Indonesian coordinated maritime security patrol (AUSINDO CORPAT) started in Darwin was conducted in waters between the two countries from 2-16 September.
The operation included aircraft, ships and headquarters staff from both countries in two synchronised task groups. The ADF contribution included Armidale Class Patrol Boat, HMAS Wollongong and an AP-3C Orion aircraft. The Indonesian armed forces provided naval vessels KRI Hiu and KRI Kakap and a CASA NC-212 aircraft.
The ships and aircraft patrolled along the Australian and Indonesian shared maritime boundaries in the vicinity of Ashmore Island, the Provisional Fisheries Surveillance Enforcement Line (PFSEL) and the Australian Indonesian Seabed Line (AISBL).
Air Commodore Ken Watson, Commander of the ADF task group, said the combined patrol provided an excellent opportunity to improve mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces.
“We have built upon the success of previous coordinated patrols with a marked improvement in communication and interoperability,” Air Commodore Watson said.
“Throughout the patrol, both Australian and Indonesian vessels conducted a number of boardings to investigate suspected incursions by fishing vessels.
“The fact that there was a significant reduction in fishing activity within the CORPAT focal area demonstrates that deterrence of illegal activity by the task group was effectively achieved,” Air Commodore Watson said.
Personnel from both navies also had the opportunity to “cross deck” with Australian sailors spending time at sea with their Indonesian counterparts.