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Fisheries patrolling

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FISHERIES PATROLLING The best possible patrol coverage of Australia's 12,000-mile coastline was being provided with available aircraft and vessels, the Minister for Primary Industry, Mr. J.P. Anthony, said today.

Mr. Anthony was replying to criticism (in the Tasmanian Press) of the lack of action by the Commonwealth

Government following reports of poaching by foreign fishing vessels.

He said he believed a reasonable balance must be kept between the intensity of patrolling fishermen would like to see maintained and the intensity of patrolling that was practicable and economically justifiable.

Mr. Anthony said: "Locating and apprehending a

vessel is not as simple a matter as many people seem to think it is.

"Even when follow-up action is immediate, the

results are often unsatisfactory.

"For example, a routine seven-hour RAAF fisheries patrol covered the east coast of Tasmania out to a distance of 20 miles on 26th hay without sighting a foreign fishing


"However, a report was received the following morning that an unidentified vessel was sighted by a lighthouse

keeper about three miles from Tasman Island from midnight to 6.00 a.m. on 27th.

"Arrangements were made the same morning for another seven-hour RAAF patrol of the Tasmanian coast,

again including the Tasman Island area, but no foreign

vessel was sighted."

Mr. Anthony said that in spite of the difficulties,

he appreciated the fishermen's action in reporting the activities of foreign fishing vessels, and urged them to


continue to report sightings.

Every effort would. continue to be made to provide follow-up action, he added.

Canberra, 29th Nay, 1970.