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‘Fish control’ vessel calls at port of Avatiu

Monday April 23, 2018 Written by Published in Local
Looking out across Rarotonga from Arago's main deck. Looking out across Rarotonga from Arago's main deck.

The French Navy ship Arago docked at Avatiu harbour on Thursday, having arrived from Papeete via the Australes archipelago.

Crew members were conducting brief tours of the vessel’s interior and main decks on Friday from 8am to 11.30am and 2pm to 5pm. The ship will also be open to the public today from 8am to 11.30am, before it departs later in the day to head north with Cook Islands patrol boat Te Kukupa to inspect fishing vessels for any possible infringements.

When CINews boarded the Arago yesterday we were shown around by a French-speaking crewman named Michael, although a slight language barrier made communication somewhat difficult.

This visit marks the second time Michael has been to Rarotonga aboard the Arago, and he says the ship will return again around November. “The mission of the ship is fish control,” he explained.

With 34 crew members to its credit, Michael describes the 59-metre-long Arago as “a very small ship”, and emphasised that crew members serve no longer than one month aboard at a time.