Poachers in Aussie waters convicted
26 Sep 2016
The Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) have convicted 16 illegal foreign fishermen.
Vietnamese master was convicted on two charges related to illegal fishing and received a suspended sentence of two months for each count with a 24-month good behaviour bond.
Its 15 crew were each convicted of one charge and also received a suspended sentence of two months with an 18-month period of good behaviour. Alongside this, the fishing vessel was also confiscated and destroyed by the AFMA in Cairns.
Peter Venslovas, AFMA’s general manager of operations, said that Australia had strict fisheries rules and regulations in place to ensure healthy fisheries.
He explained: “Illegal fishing undermines Commonwealth fisheries management and the very systems that Australia has in place to ensure current and future generations can continue to enjoy a healthy supply of Australian seafood.”
“Those who are caught illegally fishing will be convicted and have their boats confiscated.”
AFMA conducted the investigation and prosecution of the illegal fishers with assistance from Parks Australia and Maritime Border Command (MBC) within the ABF.
The crew and master all pleaded guilty to breaking Australian fisheries laws.
MBC and AFMA apprehended the illegal fishermen on 3 September 2016 about 450 kilometres to the north-east of Cairns and 245 kilometres inside the Australian Fishing Zone.
Peter Laver, commander MBC, Rear Admiral, said: “MBC’s vessels and aircraft, along with the intelligence shared by our partnering agencies and international partners, provide us with a strong picture of everything that is occurring in our waters.”
He concluded: “We monitor Australia’s waters 24/7 and respond immediately to any sign of illegal activity.”
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