Illegal foreign fishers become catch of the day
Australia’s commitment to combatting illegal fishing was reinforced by the apprehension of a foreign fishing vessel on Wednesday by Maritime Border Command (MBC), in partnership with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), on suspicion of illegally fishing in the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ).
The suspected illegal fishing vessel was intercepted by the Australian Border Force (ABF) Cutter Cape Jervis approximately 1.5 nautical miles inside the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve.
A search of the vessel by ABF Officers revealed 60 kg of fresh fish and 80 kg of fish on ice. Officers also located a range of fishing equipment.
The vessel and four crew members will now be brought to Darwin for further investigation by AFMA.
Commander MBC, Rear Admiral Mike Noonan, said that MBC was committed to stopping those who illegally fish in Australia’s waters.
“Since 2006, there has been a significant reduction in the number of sightings of illegal fishers in Australia’s waters,” Rear Admiral Noonan said.
“While it is lower, we will remain vigilant.
“Australia will continue to work closely with our international partners, to deter illegal fishing in our waters, and to protect our marine ecosystem from those who fish illegally and seek to destroy it.”
AFMA’s General Manager of Operations, Mr Peter Venslovas echoed Commander MBC in stating that illegal fishing would be not be tolerated.
“While illegal foreign fishing vessel apprehensions remain at record low levels, this latest apprehension sends a strong message to those seeking to undermine our rules and regulations that if you do the wrong thing, you will be caught,” Mr Venslovas said.
“AFMA will continue our work with MBC to help ensure that Australians will have a healthy supply of sustainably caught seafood both now and well into the future.”
For more information on how Australia is tackling IUU fishing go to afma.gov.au
Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244
Australian Fisheries Management Authority 0437 869 860