“15 Illegal Fishers Face Prosecution as Australia Toughens Maritime Protection”

Australia, Police

Article: The Australian Border Force (ABF) in collaboration with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) apprehended 15 illegal foreign fishers near the Deliverance Island, west of the Torres Strait, earlier this week.

Two Indonesian fishing vessels were also seized in a joint operation that targets illegal fishing activities across northern and northwestern Australia.

The illegal fishing crews have been transported to Darwin and placed in fisheries detention while investigations and consideration of prosecution are underway.

The seized vessels and fishing equipment, which posed a significant threat to Australia’s healthy fish stocks, will be lawfully disposed of by the AFMA.

Commander Brett Sonter of Maritime Border Command (MBC) issued a stern warning that those engaged in illegal fishing will face the consequences.

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,” said Commander Sonter.

The enforcement action serves as a multi-layered approach to monitoring Australian waters using a combination of aerial, maritime, littoral, and land assets to detect and respond to illegal foreign fishing in Australian territories.

AFMA’s Chief Executive Officer, Wez Norris, underscored the importance of strong enforcement action to protect Australia’s precious marine resources.

Australia’s healthy fisheries resources are an attractive target for illegal fishing operators, and therefore, AFMA and our partner agencies must remain focused on apprehending and prosecuting illegal fishers,” Norris said.