Australia wraps up North Pacific sweep for illegal fishing

Operation SOLANIA is the ADF contribution to maritime surveillance within the Pacific Region in partnership with Pacific Island nations. - Photo: Commonwealth of Australia

Australian Air Force planes have finished a two week hunt for illegal fishing boats in the North Pacific.

Two maritime surveillance aircraft left the region on Sunday.

They patrolled waters around Palau, as well as Pohnpei and Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Flight lieutenant Justin Stevens said it had been a successful mission.

"We've gone round and supported not only Palau but Pohnpei and Chuuk this time - looking for illegal fishing boats. And indeed today we went out and found some."

Australia helps to protect the maritime domains of 17 Pacific nations, contributing to aerial surveillance and maritime patrols led by the Forum Fisheries Agency.

Illegal fishing vessels burnt off Palau waters

A file photo of illegal fishing vessels being burnt off Palau waters. Photo: RNZI/Pew Trust