Papua New Guinea Maritime Security Strengthened with US Coast Guard’s Participation

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Papua New Guinea (PNG) has invited the USCGC Myrtle Hazard to join them in maritime operations to combat illegal fishing and protect maritime resources. This marks the first joint patrol effort at sea since the signing of a bilateral defense agreement between PNG and the US. The agreement allows the US to have shipriders from PNG agencies aboard the ship to conduct boardings on other vessels in PNG’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The PNG-led patrol aims to reduce illegal fishing and illicit maritime activities in the EEZ, emphasizing PNG’s commitment to maritime domain awareness and sovereignty protection.

The collaboration is part of a long-term effort to counter illegal maritime activity and safeguard the sustainable use of maritime resources. It is seen as a significant step in strengthening the bilateral relationship between PNG and the US. The PNG government specifically requested the participation of the US Coast Guard’s Myrtle Hazard, which is currently on an expeditionary patrol. The collaboration is vital to Operation Blue Pacific and supports the efforts of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The commanding officer of the USCGC Myrtle Hazard expressed honor and commitment to supporting PNG’s goals in this undertaking. The joint effort reflects PNG’s leading role in regional security and highlights the importance of collaboration in protecting maritime resources.

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