Vietnamese fishing boat apprehended at Lihou Reef
A Vietnamese fishing vessel suspected of illegally fishing in Australian waters has been apprehended off the coast of Cairns.
Maritime Border Command (MBC) working with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Parks Australia apprehended the vessel and its crew of fifteen near Lihou reef in the Coral Sea.
The vessel had initially been observed on 3rd February by a surveillance flight, approximately 325 nautical miles east of Cairns, more than 170 nautical miles inside the Australian EEZ. Border Force cutter Storm Bay responded and intercepted the vessel after a short pursuit.
The vessel and crew were escorted to Cairns for further investigation by AFMA and Parks Australia.
said this is another example of the efforts of Australian Government agencies working together to detect and apprehend vessels illegally fishing in Australian waters.
â€˜Australiaâ€™s maritime domain exceeds 10 million square kilometres, but no matter where these boats are, our officers will continue to work tirelessly and in collaboration with our partners to ensure that Australiaâ€™s waters remain free from illegal fishing,â€™ said MBC Acting Commander Stephen Alexander
â€˜Apprehension of this vessel should serve as a warning to illegal foreign fishers that this behaviour will not be tolerated in Australiaâ€™s waters.â€™
â€˜Our presence and strong enforcement efforts on the water along with our international efforts has resulted in the dramatic decline in illegal fishing,â€™ commented General Manager Fisheries Operations Peter Venslovas, adding that this was the tenth foreign vessel caught since July 2016, and the number of illegal boats fishing illegally in Australian waters is significantly down from record highs a decade ago.
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