Samoa and the United States Sign Amended Maritime Law Enforcement Agreement

Samoa and the United States signed an amended Maritime Law Enforcement Agreement in the capital of Apia on April 5th. The United States and Samoa signed the agreement, also known as the Shiprider Agreement, in 2012.

The new amended agreement will allow the Samoan Maritime Police (SMP) to use U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Navy (USN) vessels carrying USCG Law Enforcement teams if they are operating in the country’s territorial waters or Exclusive Economic Zone. The SMP can now request USCG or USN vessels to conduct boardings and inspections even if a Samoan officer is not on board during the operation.

The agreement is to “deter illegal predatory fishing activities, safeguarding the vital marine ecosystems and livelihoods of Samoans.” The agreement will also enhance Samoa’s ability to maintain its authority and sovereignty during USCG operations in its territorial waters.

The Minister of Police, Prisons, and Correction Services, Faualo Harry Jeffrey Schuster, and U.S. Charge d’Affaires Noriko Horiuchi signed the addendum during a small ceremony at the U.S. Embassy.

Both Horiuchi and Schuster delivered short speeches during the ceremony.