Poachers face fines and jail time
Six Indonesian illegal fishermen faced Darwin Local Court last week where they pleaded guilty to offences of attempting to steal a haul of trochus shell (sea snail).
The crew received a range of immediate jail sentences and fines. The master incurred an A$6000 fine and two repeat offenders received the harshest consequences of immediate jail time along with fines of $3500 each. The other three crew received fines of $2000.
The vessel was destroyed at sea after being apprehended on 27 April 2017 in Australian waters near Browse Island in the Timor Sea by Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF), and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).
â€˜Australiaâ€™s fisheries are very well managed, we have strict rules and regulations in place with decisions based on the best available science to protect stocks and ensure their sustainability, Australiaâ€™s premium fisheries are a target for illegal foreign operators,â€™ said AFMAâ€™s General Manager of Operations, Peter Venslovas.
â€˜Our whole-of-government approach, including in-country capacity building, is proving to be a strong deterrent for those seeking to take advantage of Australiaâ€™s fisheries. There have only been 15 apprehensions in Australian waters since 1 July 2016, significantly down from the hundreds caught in the mid-2000s.â€™
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