Samoa signs aerial surveillance deal

Samoa has signed a memorandum of understanding for the Regional Aerial Surveillance Programme with the Forum Fisheries Agency (F.F.A.).

The signing took place at Taumeasina Island Resort on Tuesday between Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the Forum Fisheries Agencies Director General, Dr. Manu Tupou-Roosen. 

“Fisheries resources are central to the economic development and food security of our countries, so every effort must be made to strengthen mechanisms to protect our fisheries resources,” Tuilaepa said. 

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“In this regard, Pacific Islands Forum Leaders agreed at our meeting in Nauru last September to support the F.F.A. Regional Aerial Surveillance Programme and the development of MOUs with the F.F.A. on its implementation.” 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa acknowledged the support of Australia to strengthen the surveillance capabilities of participating members through the Pacific Maritime Security Programme.

“This will enable the F.F.A. to assist our Pacific Island Countries in further addressing maritime surveillance needs and enforcement operations.” 

“The surveillance programme, in conjunction with the Pacific Patrol Boat Programme, will provide targeted maritime patrolling and enhance the ability of our Pacific Island countries to defend against regional maritime security threats such as illegal fishing and transnational crime. “

Tuilaepa also announced that Samoa and Vanuatu will be used as bases of operation for the surveillance aircrafts to support the facilitation of the Regional Aerial Surveillance Programme.

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