Fishing crew found guilty of seabird shootings
An investigation by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has led to seven fishermen being convicted in the Port Lincoln Magistrates Court today for criminal breaches associated with the illegal fishing of Southern Bluefin Tuna, the shooting of protected seabirds and littering at sea.
The men, crew members aboard two commercial Southern Bluefin Tuna tow boats, were convicted and ordered to pay fines totalling $22,000.
The magistrate indicated that the matters were very serious and that deterring these actions is paramount for the ongoing preservation and sustainability of our fisheries.
AFMA investigated the matters after the actions of crew members were detected on footage from video and other electronic recordings. The footage was seized by AFMA officers during a routine at-sea inspection of Southern Bluefin Tuna boats.
AFMA CEO Dr James Findlay said that the actions of the crew members were completely unacceptable; however this appeared to be an isolated incident in an industry that is highly professional and well regarded in Australia and abroad.
“These individuals obviously had no regard for the environment and the management of the fishery – actions like this undermine the sustainability of the fishery and bring the industry into disrepute,” Dr Findlay said.
“We are very pleased that their actions have now been dealt with by the courts and they have been penalised appropriately.”
Dr Findlay said the convictions showed AFMA’s compliance and monitoring arrangements are effective and working well, however, as always, there would be a review of existing procedures to identify possible opportunities for improvement following the court outcomes.
For more information please contact John Andersen, Senior Manager Compliance Operations on 02 6225 5330 or email@example.com.
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