9 July 2014
Major Australian ship visit to support Pacific fisheries
HMAS Parramatta will be visiting Honiara from Friday 11 July 2014 until Monday 15 July 2014 as part of a three week goodwill deployment to the South Pacific.
“We are very pleased to welcome HMAS Parramatta to Solomon Islands,” said Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne.
“The crew will assist with refurbishing Tuvaruhu school, which was severely damaged during the floods.
“The crew will also play a friendly game of football against the Titans at Lawson Tama stadium. The game will kick off at 12.00pm on Saturday 12 July. It should be a great contest between some of the best Solomon Islands players and the best of the Australian navy!” said Mr Byrne.
“HMAS Parramatta’s visit is part of Operation SOLANIA, which assists Pacific island states to protect their fisheries and natural resources through detecting and deterring illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activity,” explained Lieutenant Colonel Rich Watson, Australia’s Defence Adviser in the Solomon Islands.
“We are proud to work with Solomon Islands and other Pacific island countries to support the sustainable development of these fisheries resources.
“Australia looks forward to continuing to strengthen its bilateral defence relationship with Solomon Islands through our Defence Cooperation Program.
“Australia provides assistance to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Maritime Unit and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team.
“Australia’s support for the RSIPF’s two Pacific Patrol Boats includes fuel subsidies, crew training, maintenance funding and in country technical advisers. This support means that the RSIPF Maritime Unit can patrol Solomon Islands’ waters, as well as participate in regional maritime activities,” said Lieutenant Colonel Watson.
The Pacific Patrol Boat Program is the centrepiece of Australian security engagement in the Pacific, and has strengthened the region’s maritime security and fisheries protection efforts. The program was established in the 1980s and provides assistance for the patrol and protection of the large exclusive economic zones of Pacific island nations.