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Indonesian illegal fishers face court

Staff Writer |
Five Indonesian illegal fishers faced Darwin Magistrates Court this week where they pleaded guilty to offences after illegally fishing inside the Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ).

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The master of the vessel, who was a first time offender, was convicted and received a fine of $2000, while the four crew, also first time offenders, were each convicted and received a two-year good behaviour bond. Their vessel was also confiscated and destroyed.

The Indonesian fishing vessel was apprehended about 190 nautical miles off the Northern Territory coast on 8 October 2017, after it was spotted by a Maritime Border Command (MBC) Dash-8 aircraft.

MBC, a multi-agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF), tasked HMAS Pirie to intercept and board the vessel, where they found approximately 200kg of fish, including whole sharks. Officers also found about 100kg of baitfish on board.

Three longlines, each with 100 hooks, were also recovered from near where the vessel was spotted inside the AFZ.

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