The U.S. Coast Guard’s brand new National Security Cutter, the USCGC Stone, departed from Pascagoula, Mississippi, on December 22, 2020, on its inaugural sail, the Operation Southern Cross, aimed to counter illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing in the South Atlantic. Operation Southern Cross will strengthen relationships with partner nations toward maritime cooperation and security in the region. The ship entered Brazilian waters on January 11, and its crew partnered with the Brazilian Navy on joint trainings and patrol on January 19 and 20 in Rio de Janeiro. After conducting cooperative activities with other neighboring countries, the USCGC Stone will visit Salvador, Bahia on February 8.
IUU fishing is the leading global maritime security threat, and it is estimated that this illegal activity results in tens of billions of dollars of lost revenue to legal fishers every year. By undermining international agreements and fisheries conservation measures, this illicit activity jeopardizes global food security, destabilizes the economic security of coastal states, and violates state sovereignty.
“This multilateral mission demonstrates the importance dedicated by the U.S. to global efforts to tackle illegal fishing, including multilateral work to strengthen the rules governing international fisheries, improve maritime governance and foment collaborative and enduring security partnerships,” said U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman.
This multilateral mission demonstrates the importance dedicated by the U.S. to global efforts to tackle illegal fishing, including multilateral work to strengthen the rules governing international fisheries, improve maritime governance and foment collaborative and enduring security partnerships,” U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman.
Fish is an essential protein source to over 40 percent of the global population. IUU fishing inhibits access to this valuable protein resource, especially for more vulnerable coastal countries. The U.S. Coast Guard is skilled at developing and implementing enforcement mechanisms and transferring that knowledge to willing and capable partner nations to create a united front to combat IUU fishing in every ocean.
“A healthy, productive, and resilient ocean is important for achieving economic growth and prosperity, food security, better outcomes for human health, and sustainable marine resource. The global problem is much bigger than any nation can solve alone. I am proud of the work we have done and will do together to meet this challenge,” noted Ambassador Chapman.
USCGS Stone has already been to Guyana prior to visiting Brazil, and from there will depart to neighboring countries, including Uruguay.