Pacific marine resources now have additional protection. On March 19, Ambassador Thomas Armbruster and Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Foreign Minister Phillip Muller signed an amendment to the 2008 U.S.-RMI Agreement Concerning Cooperation in Maritime Surveillance and Interdiction Activities. Under the amended agreement, RMI law enforcement officials can now be embarked as shipriders aboard vessels of the Department of Defense (DoD) as well as the U.S. Coast Guard. The amended shiprider agreement expands the scope for cooperative law enforcement activities, further assisting the RMI in protecting and securing marine resources within its exclusive economic zone.
In his remarks prior to the signing ceremony, Minister Muller thanked the U.S. for working to make this expanded agreement a reality. Minister Muller noted that the RMI has already benefited during the past five years from the shiprider program with the U.S. Coast Guard and said that the additional partnership with the Department of Defense will build upon that success. Marine resources are “extremely valuable” for the future of the RMI, said Minister Muller, and must be protected. The RMI successfully interdicted an illegal shark finning ship last week. With “Shiprider” more poachers will be stopped or deterred.