The Kukui crew exercised the Tongan bilateral agreement by embarking a Tongan ship rider to patrol that nation's EEZ. Kukui crewmembers spent patrol time searching for potential EEZ incursions by vessels not transmitting their location or status in accordance with applicable fisheries regulations.
Another leg of their patrol included domestic fisheries boardings in the American Samoa EEZ and high seas boardings under the authorities established by the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
The Kukui's patrol served to increase U.S. law enforcement presence in U.S. territories of the South Pacific, increasing legal fishing practices and encouraging safe boating. The patrol also served to bolster U.S. -- Samoan and U.S. -- Tongan relations, resulting in positive U.S. influence throughout the region.