Government to issue statement soon on the Taiwanese wreckage which highlights capacity limitations to police our EEZ

Grounded fishing vessel, the FV CHUAN I SHIN at Beveridge Reef. Supplied GON

It’s been eight days since the Taiwanese fishing boat MV Chuan I Shin grounded on Beveridge Reef, Wednesday last week and BCN understands that the report was presented to Cabinet today. Senior officials in government are currently working on a statement that will be released as soon as possible. 

Since Friday when a multi-agency investigation team was sent to Beveridge with the help of the Tonga Navy and returned early on Sunday morning, the government had not issued an official statement regarding the burned wreckage of the Taiwanese fishing boat. 

The last press release from the government about the grounding of the Taiwanese fishing vessel on Beveridge Reef was issued on Friday last week. 

Sources in the government said that the investigation team arrived at Beveridge reef on Saturday to find the grounded vessel damaged by fire. The government has not yet released any information or pictures of the burned vessel. 

The only picture released by the government on Friday showed the ship loaded with fishing gear. The pictures were taken by the  Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules surveillance flight. 

It has been over a week since the grounding of the fishing vessel which has raised many questions as to why it was there in the first place because Beveridge Reef is part of the Moana Mahu marine conservation area and no commercial fishing vessels should be in that area. 

This incident has also highlighted again the limited resources available to islands like Niue to be able to patrol and police our exclusive economic zones. 

Three years ago, a marine spatial management plan linked to the Moana Mahu marine conservation introduced initiatives such as using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles and training some people on the island to monitor these types of activities within Niue’s waters. 

But the capacity of these drones will not be able to monitor and police all of Niue’s exclusive economic zone. 

Eight days after the grounding of the Taiwanese vessel on Beveridge Reef the government has yet to issue an official statement about the incident. 

The Taiwanese fishing vessel with 11 crew members on board ran aground on Beveridge Reef on Wednesday last week. 

On Thursday morning the Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules conducted the initial surveillance flight over the Reef. 

On Friday the government issued a statement saying that the crew were safely transferred to another Taiwanese fishing vessel. 

The rescue mission for the crew was organised by the New Zealand National Maritime Coordination Centre. 

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