Indonesian illegal fishers detained
One of the Indonesian vessels caught red-handed
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has reported that three illegal Indonesian fishing vessels were detained in Australian waters pending investigation during March and April.
AFMA has said that there has been a significant improvement in deterring illegal foreign fishing activity in Australian waters.
AFMA general manager fisheries operations, Mr Peter Venslovas, said: “The interception and confiscation of vessels and the prosecution of their crews, coupled with activities to tackle the problem at its source within Indonesia, has led to a dramatic decline in the number of incursions with apprehension rates dropping from a peak of 367 vessels in 2005/06 to 12 since July 2011.”
The first vessel detained during the last two months was located by an Australian Border Protection Command surveillance aircraft after being spotted using gillnets to catch up sharks in the Gulf of Carpentia. AFMA’s subsequent investigation revealed that the master of the vessel had a warrant for unpaid fines from an earlier fisheries conviction resulting in 30 days imprisonment and a two year good behaviour bond.
A second vessel detected was also targeting shark and other fish inside the Australian Fishing Zone northwest of Western Australia. The master had been apprehended illegally fishing in Australian waters on four previous occasions, pleaded guilty and was convicted and fined AUS$25,000.
The master and a crew member, a repeat offender, of the third vessel were charged and convicted for illegal fishing in the same area. Both were fined and put on good behaviour bonds.
These two vessels were also confiscated and destroyed.
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