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U.S. - Sierra Leone Maritime Patrol Team Fine Illegal Fishing Vessels
A joint U.S.-Sierra Leone patrol team queried, boarded, and found four fishing vessels in violation of fishing laws, resulting in accrued fines totaling more than $1.2 million, December 6-12, 2009.<br />
USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS, At Sea - Sailors of USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), along with Sierra Leone maritime law enforcement members and U.S. Coast Guardsmen, come alongside Samuel B. Roberts in a rigid-hull inflatable boat during a joint evolution to hunt fishing vessels engaged in illegal activities within Sierra Leone&#39;s exclusive economic zone, December 6-12, 2009. The evolution was in support of Africa Partnership Station and the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership. (US Navy photo)
1 photo: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 1: USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS, At Sea - Sailors of USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), along with Sierra Leone maritime law enforcement members and U.S. Coast Guardsmen, come alongside Samuel B. Roberts in a rigid-hull inflatable boat during a joint evolution to hunt fishing vessels engaged in illegal activities within Sierra Leone's exclusive economic zone, December 6-12, 2009. The evolution was in support of Africa Partnership Station and the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership. (US Navy photo) Download full-resolution version
A joint U.S.-Sierra Leone patrol team queried, boarded, and found four fishing vessels in violation of fishing laws, resulting in accrued fines totaling more than $1.2 million, December 6-12, 2009.



USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) embarked nine Sierra Leone maritime law enforcement members and five U.S. Coast Guardsmen in support of Africa Partnership Station and the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) while operating off the coast of Sierra Leone.



The embarkation kicked off a joint evolution between the U.S. and Sierra Leone maritime forces to hunt fishing vessels engaged in illegal activities. Utilizing satellite imagery and Automatic Information System technology, a plan was developed to find fishing vessels engaged in illegal activities within Sierra Leone's exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles out from its coastline.



Before the actual search began, the Coast Guardsmen, part of the maritime security response team, led training aboard Samuel B. Roberts that covered proper boarding techniques and law enforcement tactics.



After two days of training and planning, the AMLEP team began spotting vessels of interest and employing their maritime law enforcement protocols with the assistance of Samuel B. Roberts' watch-standing team, as well as the ship's rigid-hull inflatable boat.



"Working together with [Sierra Leone law enforcement] was a great effort," said Petty Officer 1st Class Willie Pittman. "Helping other nations maintain law and order in their coastal waters was a rewarding experience."



Each vessel in violation was escorted to Sierra Leone ports and fined.



"It has been a pleasure to partner with the professionals of the Sierra Leone Maritime Wing during this operation," said Commander Chuck Sellers, commanding officer for Samuel B. Roberts. "During their time onboard they were able to gain a better understanding of the illegal fishing activities in the [economic zone] and experience life on Sammy B."



Samuel B. Roberts, a guided-missile frigate home ported in Mayport, Florida is on a regular scheduled deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.



Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, is the Navy Component of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

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