Saturday, February 18, 2006

Fishing Australian waters illegally

The 75-metre Chen Long, a massive freezer storage ship which supports smaller foreign fishing vessels, is docked in Darwin Harbour.
On board, authorities found 639 tonnes of mostly reef fish, up to 270 tonnes of which may have been caught illegally in Australian waters.
The 18 Chinese crew were currently being detained at Darwin's new detention facility while investigations continue.
Frustrated fishermen have called for a national summit to tackle the growing problem.
Dr Nelson said the government was committed to cracking down on illegal fishing but it was a tough battle.
"We seem to have a build-up of illegal fishing boats in the Arafura Sea - in excess of some 140," Dr Nelson told the Nine Network.
He said he had asked defence force chiefs to prepare more options for tackling the issue on top of the 1,800 patrol days a year and maritime surveillance effort.
But he said anyone entering Australian waters illegally would be caught and prosecuted.

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