The Shoup is participating in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, assisting the Coast Guard in patrolling waters around 10 small island nations, including Fiji, Palau,
Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
“Our crew is excited to be in Fiji and is ready to execute the OMSI mission,” said Cmdr. Andy Strickland, the destroyer’s commanding officer. “Partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard is a new experience for us, and it will demonstrate the extensive range of U.S. Navy assets in providing critical support to embarked boarding teams in enforcing fishery laws.”
While in Suva, the Shoup will host distinguished visitors, and the crew will conduct professional exchanges with Fijian sailors and participate in community events.
Shoup‘s visit to Fiji marks the first stop in the ship’s OMSI deployment, which is focused on controlling illegal activity on the high seas in the exclusive economic zones of the island nations of Oceania.
“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing undermines efforts to conserve and manage global fish stocks,” said Lt. Cmdr. Adam Disque, whose detachment is embarked aboard the Shoup. “The goal of combined efforts by the Navy and Coast Guard through the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative mission is to deter these harmful practices.”
“In partnership with Australia, New Zealand, France, and the Pacific Island Nations, OMSI further promotes extended maritime governance as well as economic and environmental stability throughout Oceania,” he added.
Each of the 10 nations have territorial waters stretching out 12 miles from shore. Beyond that, stretching out 200 nautical miles, are exclusive economic zones, in which each nation has exclusive rights to the exploration and use of maritime resources.
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