From: Associated Press
Published October 27, 2004 12:00 AM

Nine Indonesian Fishing Boats Are Caught Poaching in Australian Waters, Says Government

CANBERRA, Australia — Nine Indonesian fishing boats were intercepted while poaching fish from Australia's northern waters, the government said Tuesday.


Fisheries and customs authorities combined forces with the air force and navy to apprehend the vessels off Australia's northern coast over the weekend.


"The government is committed to ensuring that Australia's valuable fishing resources are protected from these poachers," Fisheries and Conservation Minister Ian Macdonald said in a statement.


Macdonald said three of the vessels attempted to speed into Indonesian waters before they were apprehended. All nine had navigational equipment and charts, which suggested the crews knew they were illegally fishing in Australian waters, he said.


Eight of the vessels were transported to the Northern Territory ports of Darwin and Gove, and the ninth was destroyed at sea due to safety concerns for its crew, who were transported to shore on a navy ship.


Their catches included shark fin and tuna.


The weekend interceptions bring the number of Indonesian fishing boats apprehended for illegally fishing in Australian waters to 127 this year.


Source: Associated Press


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