US Coast Guard cutter arrives in Bermuda for fisheries enforcement operation
A US Coast Guard ship was arrived in Bermuda yesterday as part of a fisheries enforcement operation.
USCGS Angela McShan is the first of three US Coast Guard ships that will patrol seaward of the Bermuda Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 230 miles from the island.
The joint operation — with the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, the Royal Bermuda Regiment and the RBR Coastguard and police — will focus on protection of marine resources in the region.
Rear Admiral Laura Dickey, the commander of the US Coast Guard’s Fifth District, said she was pleased to help Bermuda in the detection of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and other offences in the zone.
She added: “We’re excited to join with Bermuda to help detect and monitor potential IUU fishing in the region.
"As we each work to safeguard our respective exclusive economic zones, we’re fortunate to build on our longstanding relationship to partner together in this effort to protect global fish stocks and promote adherence to international rules.”
Karen Grissette, the US Consul-General, said that the operation was a way of cementing the bond between Bermuda and its closest neighbour.
She added: “Reinforcing the United States’ security partnership with Bermuda is one of my top priorities, so I am proud to welcome these US Coast Guard cutters to advance our shared interests.
“This important operation is one more tangible demonstration of the close security collaboration between Bermuda and the United States.”
Walter Roban, the Minister for Home Affairs, said the operation was “a new chapter of co-operation with the US Government” to combat “illegal, unreported fishing and other unacceptable activity in our waters.
“The willingness of the United States to support Bermuda in our effort to oversee our EEZ is in step with our centuries’ long relationship as neighbours.
“My gratitude on behalf of the people of Bermuda extends to the US Consul’s Office in Bermuda for facilitating these meetings and the support we will get from the United States Coast Guard.”
Fast-response cutters are a key part of the US Coast Guard’s offshore fleet and they are capable of independent deployment on missions that include port, waterways and coastal security, fishery patrols, search and rescue and national defence.