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Record fine for Indonesian fisherman.

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Last updated: 15 April 2005

Record fine for Indonesian fisherman

DAFF05/053M 15 April 2005

An Indonesian fisherman has been slapped with a $130,000 fine, the largest ever recorded for an offence in Australia's northern waters.

The fisherman was fined after pleading guilty in the Darwin Supreme Court to fishing illegally in the Australian Fishing Zone, and for being equipped to fish illegally.

A fine of this severity sends the message to would-be fish poachers that Australia views this type of crime seriously.

His vessel was apprehended near Margaret Harries Banks of the Northern Territory Coast in January this year with over 100kg of dried reef fish, 300kg of fish on ice, 10kg of dried shark fin and several, fresh shark-fin on-board.

In a separate case, two crew-members of another illegal fishing boat also received fines totalling $180,000 and jail terms for obstruction.

Both men pleaded guilty to charges of fishing illegally off Cape Wessel, being equipped to fish illegally and for attempting to avoid apprehension.

These fines come hot on the heels of this week's fine of $100,000 each to two Indonesian men fishing in our waters.

I am sure news of these fines will already be circling throughout the world's fishing ports.

All vessels were much larger than those traditionally used by illegal fishers. They were well-equipped with fishing and navigational equipment including numerous long-lines, GPS, compass, depth sounders, HF radio and sat-phone communications.

The Australian Government will continue its strong presence on the water, and these heavy sentences send the message that fishing in Australian waters is not worth the risk.

Further inquiries:

Senator Macdonald’s office: David Crisafulli (07) 4771 3066 or 0400 144 483