Australia’s Maritime Border Command seizes third illegal fishing boat in two months

HMAS Childers (Photo: Royal Australian Navy)

The Australian Border Force’s (ABF) Maritime Border Command (MBC), in a joint operation with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), has apprehended an Indonesian fishing vessel east of Ashmore Island for suspected illegal fishing in Australian waters.

On December 10, an MBC aerial surveillance asset sighted the suspect vessel inside Australia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with fishing gear in the water.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Childers responded to a request from the MBC and apprehended the suspect vessel inside the EEZ approximately 331 nautical miles west-northwest of Darwin.

MBC commander Rear Admiral Lee Goddard said Childers‘ crew found seven people on board the vessel along with a significant amount of fresh fish.

The AFMA is conducting an investigation into the offences allegedly committed by the Indonesian crew.

Peter Venslovas, AFMA’s General Manager of Fisheries Operations, said this is the MBC’s third apprehension of an illegal fishing boat in two months.

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