Suspected illegal foreign fishing vessel apprehended northeast of Darwin
Monday, November 11, 2019

Joint media release Australian Border Force and Australian Fisheries Management Authority

An Indonesian fishing vessel has been apprehended northeast of Darwin, Northern Territory, for suspected illegal fishing in Australian waters.

On 3 November 2019, Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force (ABF), detected the vessel approximately two nautical miles inside Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

ABF Cutter Cape Jervis pursued and apprehended the vessel under the command of MBC, as part of a joint operation by MBC and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

In a subsequent search of the vessel, ABF officers located five crew on-board with a suspected illegal catch of 16 shark skins, 63 fresh shark fins and 60 kg of shark flesh.

This is the second vessel in as many weeks that has been brought into Darwin for investigation by AFMA into potential breaches of the Fisheries Management Act 1991.

AFMA’s General Manager of Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas, said detecting and deterring illegal foreign fishers is a top priority for Australian authorities.

“Australian fish resources are very well managed and are a target for illegal foreign fishers. AFMA and partner agencies work around the clock to monitor and protect Australia’s premium marine environment so the Australian community can enjoy this natural resource for generations to come,” Mr Venslovas said.

“We also work collaboratively with Australia’s regional neighbours to educate communities of the risks and potential consequences of illegal fishing in Australian waters to deter them from this illegal activity.”

Commander MBC, Rear Admiral Lee Goddard, said that the ABF is vigilant when it comes to keeping Australian waters secure.

“The ABF, through MBC, works closely with partner agencies to detect and intercept illegal fishing vessels,” RADM Goddard said.

“Anyone who attempts this type of illegal behaviour will be caught and prosecuted.”

Illegal fishing activity in Australian waters can be reported to Australian authorities by contacting CRIMFISH on 1800 274 634 or intelligence [at] afma.gov.au (). More information can be found at afma.gov.au.

ENDS

Media contacts:  

Australian Border Force (02) 6264 2244

Australian Fisheries Management Authority 0437 869 860