Nothing noble about this fishing
4 December 2015
The master of the Indonesian fishing vessel Kawan Mulia (translation: ‘Noble Friend’) was convicted yesterday and fined $10,000 for illegal fishing after being caught red-handed with seven longlines unlawfully deployed in Australia’s fishing zone earlier this month. Mr Zamura’s boat was also confiscated and destroyed.
On 9 November 2015, the Kawan Mulia was detected by an Australian Border Force surveillance aircraft inside the AFZ moving in a south-easterly direction, heading deeper into Australian waters. The following day the Australia Defence Vessel Cape Byron, with Royal Australian Navy crew embarked, intercepted Mr Zamura’s boat as he was trying to head out of the Australia’s fishing zone.
A subsequent search of the boat revealed approximately 900kg of fish and 25 shark fins. Mr Zamura also admitted that the five longlines located in the vicinity of the boat were set by his crew.
During the boarding a Royal Australian Navy officer spotted a crew member attempting to conceal a piece of paper with coordinates scrawled on it which revealed the position of a further two longlines set by the crew.
General Manager of Operations, Mr Peter Venslovas, said that the conviction should send a message to others that if you do the wrong thing you will be caught and penalised.
“AFMA works closely with our domestic and international counterparts to combat illegal fishing,” Mr Venslovas said.
“In addition to surveillance and apprehensions, we also work closely with our neighbouring countries, providing training and education to our regional partners to help deter illegal fishers before they reach Australian waters.
“While we have seen the number of apprehensions in northern waters decline in the last decade, we will continue to remain vigilant to protect our marine resource from those who seek to plunder them.”
More information on how Australia is working to combat illegal fishing can be found at afma.gov.au
AFMA media enquiries: email@example.com or 0437 869 860