21 December 2017

Media release from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian Border Force

A Torres Strait commercial fishing operator has been found guilty and fined $2500 for receiving tropical rock lobster from other operators near Dungeness Reef, in February 2017 without a licence.

The fisher was charged with offences under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984 following a joint operation by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the Australian Border Force (ABF).

The matter was further investigated by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and charges were laid.

The fisher was licenced to commercially catch tropical rock lobster in the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery, though not licensed to buy or receive fish product from other operators.

During the inspection of the vessel, ABF officers found 109 live tropical rock lobster on board. The catch was released back into the water.

AFMA’s General Manager of Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas, said that Australian authorities take a strong stance on illegal fishing.

“Those who choose to do the wrong thing when operating in Commonwealth fisheries will face the consequences of their actions,” Mr Venslovas said.

“Strict rules and regulations are in place to ensure Australia’s fish stocks remain at sustainable levels, and when these rules are broken it compromises the viability of our fishing industry.”

If you suspect illegal fishing is occurring in your area please contact 1800 CRIMFISH (1800 274 634).


Media enquiries

Australian Fisheries Management Authority media@afma.gov.au or 0437 869 860

Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244