Standing Rules of Engagement

Recommended Citation

"Standing Rules of Engagement", APSNet Special Reports, December 07, 2006,

  • Operation RESOLUTE is a high priority ADF operation that contributes to a Whole-of-Government activity that includes operations to detect and apprehend foreign fishing vessels operating illegally in Australia’s exclusive economic zone.
  • The ADF is committed to providing highly capable surveillance and response forces to support Operation RESOLUTE. This operation is commanded by the Border Protection Command in Canberra and involves a number of relevant government agencies.
  • The ADF recently commenced additional graduated response options to deal with foreign fishing vessels that do not submit to boarding when operating illegally within Australia’s economic exclusive zone.
  • These responses are designed to enhance the effectiveness and safety of Navy’s boarding parties.
  • The additional response measures provide further options to Navy Commanding Officers to augment existing graduated response options which already include the use of internationally recognized ‘warning shots’ to direct a vessel to stop.
  • The new measures aim to temporarily incapacitate non-compliant foreign fishing vessel crews and include the use of:
    • riot control agents,
    • distraction ammunition, and
    • directional acoustic devices.
  • In exceptional circumstances the use of fire to stop a non-compliant vessel in the water may be permitted following consideration at senior levels within Defence.
  • These measures are being introduced following a complete review of ADF Standing Rules of Engagement supporting peacetime maritime enforcement tasks. The measures support more robust enforcement measures, in line with international and domestic law.
  • The development and implementation of these measures has been conducted in close consultation with the Australian Customs Service.
  • The ADF, in consultation with other key government departments has identified and mitigated risks to both ADF personnel and foreign fishing vessel crews. These measures will assist in supporting the safety of RAN boarding parties in the conduct of their tasks and achieving the Whole of Government mission to tackle illegal foreign fishing.

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