‘Operation Ascend’ docks in Sydney for a summer on the seas

3 Dec 2021

Operation Ascend has dropped anchor in Sydney Harbour, with the two largest boats in the NSW Government’s fisheries enforcement fleet set to target black market fishing on the country’s most famous waters this summer.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall today said it was the first time the two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) would join forces.

“The Solitary Ranger brings the brawn, while the Sydney Swan has the speed, and together they will patrol Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay and further offshore, cracking down on illegal fishing,” Mr Marshall said.

“This has long been touted as a match made in marine-heaven, but never before have both these vessels operated together.

“Operation Ascend will bolster existing on-the-water stings by targeting the corners of the Harbour where illegal activity is known to occur. Whether it’s in broad daylight or under the cover of darkness, wrongdoers will have nowhere to hide.

“Fisheries officers will also have illegal fishing for threatened and protected species including grey nurse shark and black rock cod in their sights.”

Mr Marshall said Operation Ascend was a high profile compliance exercise designed to increase visibility and presence of NSW Fisheries across the coastline this summer.

“While both OPVs are in Sydney, the offshore patrol team will train local Fisheries Officers in the use of equipment, systems and procedures onboard both ships,” Mr Marshall said.

“This will include exercises in rapid launching of the onboard, rigid-hull inflatable vessels from the stern of the OPVs to conduct inspections and use of the sonar and mapping systems onboard.

“Fisheries officers have the latest mapping and surveillance equipment, including infrared cameras, at their fingertips to help catch anyone doing the wrong thing.

“After completing operations in Sydney, the Solitary Ranger will head to the Far South Coast, undertaking inspections along the way, while the Sydney Swan will be due north, targeting offshore fisheries and marine protected areas.”

Media contact: Connor McGoverne 0408 185 304