Australian court convicts Indonesian illegal fisher apprehended off Darwin

The Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Launceston prepares to tow an aprehended Indonesian foreign fishing vessel. (Photo: Royal Australian Navy)

The master of an Indonesian fishing vessel apprehended off the coast of Darwin, Northern Territory, has been sentenced in Darwin Local Court for illegal fishing in Australian waters.

Pleading guilty to charges under the Fisheries Management Act of 1991, the master was fined AU$4,000 (US$2,700).

The vessel was apprehended on October 20, 2019, approximately 4.9 nautical miles inside the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ) in a joint operation by Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force, and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

Under the command of MBC, the Australian Defence Force vessel HMAS Maitland intercepted the suspect fishing boat after being sighted up to 40 nautical miles inside the AFZ and, later, hauling fishing line aboard.

A small quantity of fresh tuna was found on board in a subsequent search of the vessel.

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