USCGC Washington returns from international patrol

by LTJG Jeanette Wheatley
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Washington recently returned to its home port of Guam after a two-week joint maritime law enforcement patrol under Operation Oceania Shield.

The Washington's crew partnered with their counterparts from the Republic of Palau and Australia to patrol more than 25,000 square nautical miles within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Palauan archipelago in an effort to help protect Palau's waters from illegal foreign fishing activities, enforcing living marine resource regulations and suppressing violations of environmental law.

The Coast Guard, along with Palau's law enforcement officials, inspected documentation, examined fish holds for illegal catch, and ensured compliance with Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission conservation management measures, all on board four foreign fishing vessels. The Coast Guard exercises the use of bilateral agreements with several different nations in Oceania to help enforce the host nation's fisheries laws, and to promote economic and environmental stability vital to the Western Pacific region.

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