Indonesia and Australia conclude joint maritime operation

​Indonesia and Australia have marked their sixth coordinated maritime patrol in Australia’s northern waters, as both countries continue their long-standing cooperation to combat various forms of civil maritime security threats. The operation, known as Operation Gannet, was first staged in 2018.

The Indonesian agencies involved were BAKAMLA (Indonesian Coast Guard) and the Directorate General of Surveillance for Marine and Fisheries Resources (PSDKP). The Australian side was comprised of the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

The primary objectives of Operation Gannet patrols are to detect, deter and combat illegal activities at sea and to strengthen the cooperation and interoperability between the agencies involved. During the joint patrol, the crew of surveillance aircraft and ships were looking for suspicious or non-compliant activity occurring along the patrol route.

ABF Commissioner Michael Outram said Operation Gannet was critical to the continued effective management and patrol of the waters between Australia and Indonesia, and further enhanced the already excellent relationship between agencies.

“Effective handling of criminal threats in the maritime domain is critical to the prosperity of both of our countries. I want to thank my Indonesian counterparts for their ongoing commitment to this work,” Commissioner Outram said.

“I also recognise that maritime crime is rarely contained within just one nation’s maritime domain – it spans borders – which highlights how important this type of cooperation is as we respond to these threats.”

During the operation, which ran for four days from 26-29 September, air and marine assets were deployed by both countries as they worked together to patrol within the Timor Sea in Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), through Oceanic Shoals Marine Park and across Beagle Gulf into Darwin.

A closing ceremony was staged in Darwin on 29 September 2022, hosted by ABF Commissioner Michael Outram and attended by VADM Aan Kurnia Chief BAKAMLA, RADM Adin Nurawaluddin Director General of PSDKP, AFMA Chief Executive Officer Wez Norris, and Commander, Maritime Border Command (MBC), RADM Justin Jones.


About Australian Border Force and Maritime Border Command

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is Australia’s frontline border law enforcement agency and customs service.  Maritime Border Command (MBC) is a multi-agency task force within the ABF.

MBC is enabled by ABF and Australian Defence Force (ADF) assets and resources to implement a whole-of-Australian-Government effort, at the operational level, to protect civil maritime security interests through the provision of effects in the Australian maritime domain.

ABF maintains Australia’s border sovereignty to ensure it can detect and respond to a range of concurrent security challenges; including illicit trade, unauthorised maritime arrivals, and illegal fishing and other regionally dispersed security threats over the full extent of Australia’s air, maritime and terrestrial domains. 

About Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA):

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is the lead agency responsible for the efficient management and sustainable use of fisheries resources within the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) on behalf of the Australian community. AFMA is committed to the deterrence of illegal fishing activity and enforces its provisions under Australian law to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in illegal fishing activity in the AFZ and Torres Strait Protected Zone.

Managing these fisheries resources requires international collaboration and cooperation. AFMA links with our international partners to inform Australia’s maritime domain awareness and works collectively to counter Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in waters adjacent to Australia. AFMA uses a multifaceted approach that recognises the dynamic and diverse nature of IUU fishing.


The Indonesian Coast Guard (BAKAMLA) was established according to the Law number 32 of 2014 on Maritime Affairs. The law mandates BAKAMLA to conduct safety and security patrols within Indonesian territorial waters. The law also mandates the agency to secure, observe, and to prevent illegal activities within Indonesia’s maritime jurisdiction, and also to assist with Search and Rescue and other duties within the national defence system.

BAKAMLA is committed to safeguard Indonesian territorial waters. The agency is supported by numerous maritime assets, maritime regional offices and fleet bases that are spread along three Indonesian archipelagic sea lanes, and also Safety and Security Monitoring Stations throughout Indonesia.

About PSDKP:

The main mission of PSDKP is the prevention of IUU fishing in Indonesian waters, which has caused a substantial loss for Indonesia’s fishing industry. To prevent illegal fishing, PSDKP has conducted joint-operations with the Indonesian maritime security agencies such as Navy, Water Police, Sea and Coast Guard, BAKAMLA and Customs, and conducts coordinated patrols with international partners including Australia.

IUU fishing activities in Indonesian waters have caused huge losses for Indonesia. Overfishing, overcapacity, threats to the preservation of fish resources, unfavourable fishery business climate, the weakening of the competitiveness of firms and the marginalization of fishermen are the real impact of illegal fishing and destructive fishing activities. Sustainable fishing practices are essential as Indonesia and the Region recovers from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

/Public Release. View in full here.