Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document

ILLEGAL FISHING

Mrs Moylan, pursuant to notice, moved—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; and


(g) ensuring Australian territorial integrity is maintained.

Debate ensued.

The time allotted for the debate having expired, the debate was interrupted, the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting, and Ms Grierson was granted leave to continue her speech when the debate is resumed.