Bor­der force busts il­le­gal catch

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - EL­LIE TURNER

EIGHT al­legedly il­le­gal fish­er­men have been brought to Dar­win af­ter be­ing ap­pre­hended in a dan­ger­ous boat in the Ti­mor Sea.

The In­done­sian na­tion­als are be­ing held in immigration de­ten­tion, af­ter they were al­legedly caught near Browse Is­land within the Aus­tralian Fish­ing Zone, with a “haul” of trochus shell – sea snail.

A sur­veil­lance air­craft de­tected the ves­sel about 280 nau­ti­cal miles north east of Broome on April 27.

Bor­der force In­spec­tor Ray Gra­ham said the ves­sel was un­sea­wor­thy and could not be towed safely to shore and had to be de­stroyed at sea.

“We have ex­tremely ded­i­cated, de­ter­mined and pro­fes­sional crews in our ships and air­craft,” he said.

“We are ef­fec­tively pa­trolling these wa­ters and have been very successful in ap­pre­hend­ing In­done­sian fish­ing ves­sels at­tempt­ing to ex­ploit our nat­u­ral resources.

“Pro­tect­ing the rich bio­di­ver­sity of Aus­tralian wa­ters is a high pri­or­ity for the Aus­tralian Bor­der Force.”

Aus­tralian Fish­eries Man­age­ment Author­ity op­er­a­tions boss Peter Venslo­vas said 15 for­eign il­le­gal fish­ing ves­sels had been busted since July, 2015.

“Let this be a mes­sage for those who seek to take ad­van­tage of Aus­tralia’s pre­mium fish­eries; if you com­mit the crime you will be caught.”

The crew will be de­ported af­ter le­gal pro­ceed­ings have been fi­nalised.

Some of the haul on-board

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