The US Coast Guard reports that is is continuing to monitor a Russian vessel, believed to be an intelligence gathering ship, off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands. The tracking began in recent weeks, according to a Coast Guard press release issued today.
“While foreign military vessels may transit freely through the US economic exclusive zone, as per customary international laws, foreign-flagged military vessels have often been observed operating and loitering within Coast Guard District Fourteen’s area of response,” according to the agency.
“The Coast Guard continues to coordinate with Department of Defense partners, providing updates to foreign vessel movements and activities and to appropriately meet presence with presence to encourage international maritime norms,” the agency reports.
“As part of our daily operations, we track all vessels in the Pacific area through surface and air assets and joint agency capabilities,” said Cmdr. Dave Milne, chief of External Affairs. “The Coast Guard operates in accordance with international laws of the sea to ensure all nations can do the same without fear or contest. This is especially critical to secure freedom of movement and navigation throughout the Blue Pacific.”
As a part of the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard is the lead federal agency for at-sea enforcement of US fisheries laws. Additionally, the Coast Guard assists in the enforcement of laws on the high seas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States’ exclusive economic zone. Law and treaty enforcement account for approximately 1/3 of the Coast Guard’s annual budget.