Mellon calls in

The US Coast Guard cutter Mellon at the Suva Wharf yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

THE US Coast Guard cutter Mellon, a high endurance vessel is in the country as part of the bilateral and shiprider agreements between the US and Fiji.

The cutter Mellon commanding officer Stephen Burdian said the visit signified their commitment to the region and to their partner nations such as Fiji.

“We patrol the high seas, looking to make sure that we counter the threats for narco-trafficking in the areas as well as illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries that are important to all our nations,” he said.

“Fiji along with the US and 41 other nations and agencies have signed on to an agreement called the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission whose goals is to ensure that we manage and preserve the fisheries stock for generations to come.

“We look forward to the coming days in working with the Fiji Navy in exercising our bilateral and shiprider agreement and make sure that we conduct joint operations to ensure that our national strategies and priorities are maintained.”

He said the cutter Mellon was an inspection vessel and it was able to conduct some inspection at sea of other nations’ vessels while making its way to Fiji.

The cutter is one of 12 high endurance vessels that were built.

The vessel was built in 1968 and would turn 51 this month.

She was built to go out in the high seas and to conduct search and rescue operations, conduct law enforcement operations and work with international partners throughout the world.

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