Border force busts illegal catch
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