Illegal fishing vessel boarded by Australian authorities

The Australian Government has again demonstrated its commitment to protecting Southern Ocean marine resources from transnational crime syndicates with the third interception and boarding this year of a fishing vessel known to have operated in defiance of international conventions in the Southern Ocean and believed to be operating under a false flag.

Officers from the Australian Border Force (ABF) boarded and searched the internationally listed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel Viking, after intercepting it approximately 270 nautical miles North West of Christmas Island.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority will conduct further inquiries in relation to the vessel’s nationality, ownership and authority to fish. This information will be shared with Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) nations and INTERPOL in an effort to further target, deny port access, and where possible detain and prosecute the Viking should it resume illegal fishing.

In April 2015, the master of the Viking was found guilty of fisheries charges in Malaysia.

Deputy Commissioner Operations, Michael Outram said this boarding demonstrates Australia’s continuing work with international partners to interrupt the supply chain of illicit catch and dismantle the business model of illegal fishers and transnational crime syndicates.

"This is the third such interception and boarding this year, highlighting the Government’s commitment to protecting endangered natural resources in the region," Mr Outram said.

Media contact: Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244

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