Marine Link
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Australia Apprehends Illegal Fishers

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 30, 2023

Source: Australian Border Force

Source: Australian Border Force

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has apprehended 30 illegal foreign fishers and seized and destroyed three fishing vessels as part of an ongoing operation targeting illegal fishing off the coast of Western Australia.

ABF's Maritime Border Command in partnership with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) detected and apprehended the vessels found to be fishing illegally in the Kimberley Marine Park between December 23 and 26, 2023.

The illegal fishing crews have been conveyed to shore and placed in immigration detention while authorities consider prosecution and removal from Australia. Their fishing equipment was seized from the vessels and a combined catch of more than a tonne of trepang (1,170 kg), otherwise known as sea cucumber, as well as 600kg of salt, which is used to preserve the trepang.  

Operation LEEDSTRUM Commander, Assistant Commissioner Kylie Rendina, said the crews of vessels illegally fishing in Australian waters were on notice. “If you fish illegally, you will lose your vessel, your equipment and you will be placed in immigration detention to face potential prosecution in Australian courts.

The apprehension and detention of these 30 fishers represents the largest cohort of foreign fishers to be detained in over a decade.

Australia's well managed fisheries and highly protected marine parks are an attractive choice for illegal foreign fishers.