23 August 2016

Joint media release: Australian Border Force and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority

A joint operation by the Australian Border Force (ABF), the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Australia’s northern waters, concluded today with the arrival of two Indonesian patrol vessels into Darwin Port.

Deputy Commander Maritime Border Command (MBC), Stephen Alexander, welcomed the crews of MMAF vessels KP Hiu Macan Tutul 001 and KP Hiu Macan 006 at Stokes Hill Wharf, along with officials from the Indonesian Directorate of Marine Surveillance.

“Protecting the marine environment and combating IUU fishing by illegal operators is not confined to jurisdictional boundaries, and no single organisation or government can successfully address this shared problem without a cooperative approach,” Deputy Commander Alexander said.

“IUU fishing activities impact both our nations, and the cooperation and goodwill between the ABF, AFMA and the MMAF demonstrates the shared commitment by Australia and Indonesia to stop illegal exploitation of natural resources in areas of mutual interest.

Photo of three boats invovled in the joint fisheries patrol between Australia and Indonesia credit Australian Border Force

Australia and Indonesia patrol together to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“At the operational level, Australia and Indonesia continue to maintain a strong and collaborative relationship on civil maritime security issues, including the exchange of operational information relevant to our shared area of maritime interest.”

During the patrol, ABF Cutter Cape St George and an ABF Dash-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft worked closely with the two MMAF patrol vessels to target IUU fishing activities within and to the north of Australia’s exclusive economic zone. A MMAF air observer supported ABF aircrew during the operation, while AFMA officers aboard the vessels facilitated patrol activity and Indonesian/English language communications.

“The ABF, AFMA and the MMAF will continue to work together targeting IUU fishing vessels in order to stamp out this illicit trade.”

AFMA’s General Manager of Operations, Peter Venslovas said that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing threatens the sustainability of fish stocks, and Australia and Indonesia remain committed to tackling illegal operators.

“These coordinated patrols with our Indonesian counterparts sends a strong message to those thinking about doing the wrong thing – you will get caught,” Mr Venslovas said.

For more information on how Australia is combating illegal fishing visit afma.gov.au.

Media enquiries:

Immigration and Border Protection: (02) 6264 2244

AFMA: media@afma.gov.au or 0437 869 860