USCG Carries Out Fisheries Enforcement in the Philippine Sea

Kimball's crew conducts its first at-sea boarding in the Philippine Sea, Feb. 10 (USCG)

Published Feb 28, 2021 8:28 PM by U.S. Coast Guard News

 The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball has concluded a successful two week patrol to counter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing), furthering the United States’ commitment to regional security and partnership in the Indo-Pacific.

As part of Operation Blue Pacific, the crew of the Kimball deployed in support of national security goals. The crew of the Kimball is prepared for targeted and intelligence-driven enforcement actions, and to counter predatory or irresponsible maritime behavior.

While patrolling about 3,600 miles in the Philippine Sea, the Kimball’s law enforcement team conducted its first ever at-sea boarding under the fisheries enforcement agreement of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. 

Kimball's crew conducts its first at-sea boarding in the Philippine Sea, Feb. 10 (USCG)

The WCPFC is an international body made up of 43 nations and international organizations. Members agree to allow the 13 countries in the pact to board and record any potential violations on their nationally-flagged vessels. The findings go to the WCPFC, who notifies the vessel's flag state of the suspected infraction for further investigation. Combating illegal fishing is part of promoting maritime governance and the rules-based international order which is essential to a free and open Oceania. 

While on patrol, the Kimball also diverted to assist in a search and rescue case in the Federated States of Micronesia, and the crew deployed a small unmanned aircraft system, or sUAS. 

“Our presence in the area shows our partners the Coast Guard’s enduring efforts to provide search and rescue response and oversight of important economic resources,” said Lt. Cmdr. Drew Cavanagh, operations officer for the Kimball. “The ongoing presence of a Coast Guard cutter in this part of the Pacific to assist in determining compliance with conservation management measures established by the WCPFC demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the region and our partners."

The Kimball is one of the newest national security cutters homeported in Honolulu. These technologically-advanced ships have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles and endurance of up to 90 days.  

This article appears courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard News and appears here in an abbreviated form. It may be found in its original form here.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.