February 26, 2020 (Google Translation) – From February 7 to 17, 2020, the surveillance frigate (FS) Nivôse patrolled the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Kerguelen Islands with a view to exercising its sovereignty missions, more particularly in areas of world heritage in the humanity, and to control possible acts of illegal, unreported and unauthorized fishing (IUU), within the framework of the fisheries police.
Land area of an area comparable to that of Corsica, the Kerguelen Islands and their EEZ of over 700,000 km2 represented a real challenge for the surveillance frigate and its Panther helicopter Supported by the National Center for Fisheries Surveillance (CNSP) , the building was able to take advantage of its satellite images throughout its patrol.
“Whitewashing” this immense space is a complicated mission. If it is necessary to adapt to changing weather conditions, it is also necessary to integrate the constraints that the heavy weather imposes to operate a helicopter. Likewise, the limits linked to the building’s fuel autonomy must be taken into account when deciding where and when to anchor in order to launch aero-maritime surveillance (SURMAR). The while standing ready to support the project and detachment Petrel 2 th Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment. Embarked on board the Nivôse, it must be able to exercise French sovereignty over these desolate lands by carrying out raids of ten days, independently.
The Nivôse patrol was also an opportunity to cultivate cooperation between the French Navy and the Kerguelen Islands district of the TAAF community, in Port-aux-Français, through several interactions. First, the frigate conducted with his Panther a joint exercise to care for an injured person, then the replacement of the batteries of a relay antenna in the mountains of the Courbet peninsula. Then, the Port-aux-Français base mobilized to supply the Nivôse with diesel, strengthening the building’s capacity to patrol further, longer. Finally, the district made possible the hardening of the protection brigade, which was able to test its endurance during a walk of 26 kilometers.
Under the operational control of the Commander of the Armed Forces of the Southern Indian Ocean Zone (COMSUP FAZSOI) and in coordination with the TAAF community, the surveillance frigates Floréal and Nivôse, based in Reunion, are deployed annually in the EEZs French islands isolated between roaring forties and howling fiftieths. These missions are also an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with our riparian partners, be it South Africa for the Marion and Prince Edward Islands, and Australia for the Heard and Mac Donald Islands.