Marine Link
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Australia and Indonesia Wrap-Up Maritime Security Operation

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 19, 2024

Source: Australian Border Force

Source: Australian Border Force

Australia and Indonesia have completed a coordinated international maritime security operation to detect, deter and combat illegal activities at sea.

Between May 8 and 17, Australian and Indonesian agencies undertook Operation GANNET within the Timor Sea Area of Operations, which includes waters around Ashmore Island.

The operation comprised vessels, aircraft and personnel from the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (BAKAMLA), Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Republic of Indonesia (PSDKP), Australian Border Force's Maritime Border Command (MBC), and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

Of note, 36 illegal foreign fishers were detained during the operation and transferred at sea to the combined custody of PSDKP and BAKAMLA for repatriation.

MBC Commander Rear Admiral Brett Sonter said the 10-day operation sent a strong deterrence message to people looking to engage in illegal maritime activities.

“The preservation of Australia's maritime security relies on collaboration across government, strong international engagement and maintaining our formidable border response capabilities – and that's what Operation GANNET is about," Sonter said.

“While we regularly collaborate with our counterpart agencies, this operation strengthens our interoperability, ensuring a joint focus on combating any illegal activity on these waters. We know that without a strong enforcement response, increase in foreign fishing vessels could increase risk of other maritime threats, including people smuggling. Operation GANNET sends a strong message to those people operating illegally in our waters: neither Australia nor Indonesia will tolerate illegal activity in the maritime domain.”

This year marked the eighth iteration of Operation GANNET, which is held annually and timed to coincide with the region's calmer weather and peak blue-water fishing season.