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Chinese master found guilty.

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BACK You are here : Home : Media Releases : DAFF06/108A Last updated: 28August 2006

Chinese master found guilty

The Australian Government welcomes today’s guilty finding in the Darwin Supreme Court of the master of the Chinese-flagged fishing vessel De Yuan Yu 2.

The Master, Delin Lan, was found guilty of operating a fishing vessel illegally inside Australian waters, and of resisting arrest.

“This important test-case sends a very strong message to those who would seek to steal our fish”, Minister for Fisheries and Conservation, Senator Eric Abetz said.

“It firmly establishes that a foreign fishing vessel does not actually have to be caught in the act of fishing in the AEZ for charges to be successful.

“As a result, foreign fishing vessels now face yet another reason to stay out of our waters.

“I congratulate officers of AFMA and Director of Public Prosecutions for ensuring this successful prosecution and officers from the HMAS Ipswich for their efforts in apprehending the vessel.”

The 31-metre Chinese-flagged De Yuan Yu 2 was apprehended by HMAS Ipswich earlier this year and escorted to Darwin for further investigation by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

The Court found that the vessel’s fishing gear was not stored or secured while the vessel was inside Australia’s fishing zone, and that the vessel had attempted to avoid apprehension by using evasive manoeuvres.

The vessel was inside the Australian Fishing Zone north-west of the Wessel Islands off the Northern Territory coast.

A date for sentencing has yet to be set. The maximum penalty for the fisheries charge is $550,000. The maximum penalty for resisting a Commonwealth official is two years imprisonment.

The trial of the Master of a second Chinese fishing trawler apprehended at the same time as the De Yuan Yu 1 also began today.

Images of the Chinese vessels are available from the AFMA website at:

DAFF06/108A 28 August 2006

Further inquiries:

Senator Abetz’s office: Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666

© Commonwealth of Australia 2002-2005 | Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry | Other DAFF Ministers | Prime Minister

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