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Thursday, 20 June 2002
Page: 4109

The following notice was given:


Mrs Moylan to move:

That this House:

(1) condemns the action of foreign nationals:

(a) illegally fishing in the Heard Island and McDonald Zone and stealing an estimated 2,000 tons of Patagonian tooth fish per month;

(b) for their flagrant disregard for the sovereignty of Australia's exclusive economic zone;

(c) for decimating an endangered species of albatross and other seabirds by using illegal fishing methods, flouting Australian and international environment regulations; and

(d) for threatening the future of the species in the area and the commercial sustainability of the Patagonian tooth fish fishery;

(2) notes that the Australian fishing industry is limited to catching 2,815 tons of Patagonian tooth fish this year;

(3) notes that if this practice continues, it threatens the estimated $30 million earned annually by the Australian fishing industry, puts at risk the direct employment of approximately 120 people and the indirect employment of approximately 500 people;

(4) commends the Australian Government for its decision to propose the listing of Patagonian tooth fish on schedule two of the Convention in International Trade and Endangered Flora and Fauna;

(5) commends the Australian Government for its previous successful apprehension by the Australian Navy of several illegal foreign fishing vessels; and

(6) in light of the continuing serious breaches, calls on the Government to further strengthen action to prevent any further illegal incursions of our southern Exclusive Economic Zone by:

(a) continuing naval action to apprehend those responsible for this illegal action;

(b) implementing a civilian surveillance patrol with an armed boarding capacity;

(c) substantially increasing the financial penalties to a level that deters future offences;

(d) working closely with the Australian fishing industry to strengthen surveillance and apprehend offenders;

(e) seeking further co-operation with the French Government whose territorial integrity is similarly threatened;

(f) pursuing offenders through dialogue with various countries where operations supporting illegal fishing are based;

(g) ensuring Australian territorial integrity is maintained.