Apprehension of foreign fishing vessel in Australian waters

Joint media release with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Maritime Border Command (MBC), a part of the Australian Border Force, in partnership with Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has apprehended a foreign fishing vessel suspected of illegally fishing in the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ).

On 10 October 2015, the HMAS Launceston intercepted the fishing vessel approximately 120 nautical miles off north Western Australia. 

During a search of the vessel, AFMA and Navy personnel recovered approximately 60 shark fins and 70 kg of fish on board. Officers also located a long line with more than 70 baited hooks in the water.

The vessel has been brought to Darwin, along with six crew members, for further investigation.

This apprehension follows on from the success of the recent joint MBC-AFMA operation undertaking targeted boardings along Australia’s north-west maritime boundary. In this operation MBC boarded and inspected 22 foreign fishing vessels to ensure compliance with Australian law.

MBC Commander, Rear Admiral Michael Noonan said that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to be deterred by Australia’s surveillance and enforcement efforts.

“These are all examples of Australian Government agencies working together to combat IUU fishing in the AFZ,” Commander Noonan said.

“MBC assets remain vigilant and widely deployed to respond to all illegal activities right across Australia’s vast maritime domain.”

AFMA General Manager of Operations, Peter Venslovas said IUU fishing threatens Australia’s marine resources by undermining the strict rules and regulations we have in place to ensure our resources are fished sustainably and Australians can enjoy a healthy supply of seafood both now and into the future.

“It’s very positive that illegal incursions and apprehensions are at historic lows, however we must remain vigilant to combat against those fishers who believe they can steal from our waters.”

More information on how Australia is working to combat illegal fishing can be found at

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