Australia apprehends foreign fishing vessels
Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force (ABF), and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), apprehended two Indonesian fishing vessels in the Timor Sea, approximately 100 nautical miles east of the Ashmore Islands.
The two vessels were first identified by an ABF surveillance flight a mile inside the Australian Fishing Zone, which then notified MBC.
HMAS Broome subsequently intercepted both vessels 3.90 nautical miles outside Australian waters.
Officers boarded the two vessels, where they found 13 crew, 100kg of fresh reef fish and 50kg of partially frozen reef fish.
AFMAâ€™s general manager of Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas, said the crew will be investigated to determine whether there have been any breaches of the Fisheries Management Act 1991.
â€˜Australia has no tolerance for illegal fishing, and the collaborative approach between AFMA and MBC demonstrates our strong stance on the matter,â€™ he said.
â€˜Australiaâ€™s well-managed fisheries are a target for poachers and those who choose to illegally take Australiaâ€™s marine stocks can trust they will be caught and face the consequences.â€™
The two vessels and 13 crew members are being brought to Darwin to face further investigation by AFMA.
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