Indonesian boats caught in illegal fishing operation
ABC News Online
26th May 2004
An operation targeting illegal fishing has caught nine Indonesian boats in less than a week in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Operation Shark Fin was conducted off the Queensland and Northern Territory coasts.
Fifty-eight Indonesian fishermen were apprehended in the combined operation including the Navy, Customs, Coastwatch and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.
Federal Fisheries Minister Senator Ian Macdonald says most of the boats have been taken to Gove in the Northern Territory where the authority is investigating if all those apprehended were involved in illegal fishing.
He says charges will than be laid.
"Very often it's only the captain and senior fishing master that are charged, the others we hope to repatriate to Indonesia at a very quick time," he said.
Senator Macdonald says the operation also aimed to deter would be illegal operators in Indonesia.
He says the Government intends to maintain the strong presence in northern waters.