Australia defence ship Ocean Shield docks in Hobart raising hopes illegal fishing boat patrols will start
The Federal Government's Southern Ocean patrol boat, Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) OCEAN SHIELD, has docked in Hobart amid speculation it may soon start pursuing illegal fishers.ADV OCEAN SHIELD is one of two ships used for patrolling the Southern Ocean for illegal fishing boats. Tasmanian Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said he hoped it had come to Hobart to start patrols."My expectation is that the boat will now head south and patrol the Southern Ocean," he said."It is long overdue so this is a case of better late than never."The Federal Government has faced criticism in recent weeks from New Zealand authorities and Sea Shepherd activists over its lack of surveillance, as both chase boats illegally fishing for Patagonian toothfish. Senator Whish-Wilson was also critical of the Government's delay in carrying out two patrols it had previously promised using ADV OCEAN SHIELD."We've been waiting for this boat to appear on the horizon all summer after the Government promised that they would do two 40 day patrols in the Southern Ocean," he said."The ice-rated $150 million ACV OCEAN SHIELD was purpose-built to patrol in environments like the Southern Ocean."We hope it is on the way to the Southern Ocean to provide the patrols it was promised to do."A spokeswoman for the Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said the Government can not disclose the location of its assets or operational activity. Source : abc.net
Search for MH 370 resumed
The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 resumed on MAy 22 with the redeployment of the U.S. Navy-owned robotic ROV Bluefin-21 which will spend six days searching the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals detected in early April by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed from the "Ocean Shield". The operation resumed at 2 a.m. LT when the "Ocean Shield" returned to the Indian Ocean search zone. The "Ocean Shield" was anticipated to depart the search area on May 28 and return to Fleet Base West on May 31 where it will demobilise the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle equipment and disembark the support team. The Chinese survey ship "Zhu Kezhen" meanwhile was heading to the zone to begin mapping the ocean floor. Its bathymetric survey was being done in preparation for a commercially contracted deep ocean search for the wreckage.
Defective transponders caused communication problems
The drone searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the "Ocean Shield" towing it both have defective transponders. The transponders mounted to the U.S. Navy drone Bluefin-21 and the Australian defense vessel have hardware defects that hinder the ability of the two devices to communicate with each other. As a consequence, spare parts for both defects were to be dispatched from the United Kingdom and expected to arrive in Australia on May 18. The "Ocean Shield" on May 15 was heading to Dampier to receive the transponder parts. The Bluefin-21 had been recalled on May 14 after suffering communications problems just hours after it was deployed.Upload News