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    HomeWorldCoast Guard Navigates Bureaucracy in Fight Against Illegal Fishing

    Coast Guard Navigates Bureaucracy in Fight Against Illegal Fishing

    Coast Guard Navigates Bureaucracy in Fight Against Illegal Fishing

    SUVA, FIJI—It was a bumpy ride as the boat sped through churning ocean swells toward a Chinese-flagged fishing vessel in Fijian waters.

    The boat carried a mix of U.S. Coast Guardsmen and Fijian law enforcement officials operating as “ship riders ” out of the CGC Harriet Lane—the Coast Guard's Hawaii-based “Indo-Pacific Support Cutter ” dedicated to operations in Oceania.

    The fishing vessel had clearly been at sea for a long time, its exterior covered in rust and the Chinese flag it flew from its stern blackened by diesel exhaust. As the boarding team got closer to the vessel, a pungent smell cut through the salty ocean .

    As they boarded the vessel its crew continued working, throwing out lines, bait and buoys off the back. A U.S. Marine, a Mandarin linguist on temporary duty with the Lane, talked to the captain as the rest of the team searched for potential violations such as illegal drift nets or shark-finning.

    One of the Fijian officials, an officer from the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries, said that riding with the Lane and its crew was the first time in her nearly seven-year career with the agency venturing this far off shore. Limited resources regularly kept her closer to Fiji's coastlines with little opportunity to monitor—let alone board—vessels in the deep waters where large schools of tuna run.

    As illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing—or IUUF—strains global fish populations, world leaders are paying more…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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