Sniffer dogs working with Fiji’s Police and Customs staff trained on the Royal New Zealand Navy Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Hawea.
The dogs have been trained to detect drugs, weapons, ammunition and cash.
Lieutenant Sam Wilson, Military Liaison Officer for Hawea, said the canine officers – all two-year-old Labradors – were led around the ship to check compartments and manoeuvre around obstructions during a two-hour session yesterday.
While on the ship the dogs wore special booties – to protect their paws.
This was the first time the dogs had been on a ship, so it was the perfect opportunity to expose them to a different environment.
The ship’s crew, together with staff from the Republic of Fiji Navy, Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries and Forest and Revenue and Customs Authority and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, have boarded more than 320 vessels and detected 57 breaches to date.
About 20 Republic of Fiji Navy personnel have received training on Hawea, which completed its seventh fisheries patrol this week.