DARWIN: An Indonesian fishing boat was confiscated and destroyed after it was found carrying an illegal catch of shark fins, skins and flesh, Australian authorities said on Tuesday (Nov 26).
The vessel was caught illegally fishing about 2 nautical miles inside the country's fishing zone on Nov 3, the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australia Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) in a joint release.
The boat's master was fined A$17,360 (US$11,800) in a court in Darwin, Northern Territory.
An ABF cutter boat had "pursued and apprehended" the Indonesian vessel in the sea northeast of Darwin, the authorities said in a prior release.
Upon searching the vessel, ABF officers located five crew members with an illegal catch of 63 fresh shark fins, 16 shark skins and 60kg of shark flesh.
AFMA said over the last few years the number of illegal foreign boats caught in Australian waters has decreased into "just a trickle".
"Illegal foreign fishing boat numbers have plummeted from a record high of over 360 apprehensions in 2005-2006, to just five in 2018-2019," said AFMA's general manager of fisheries operations Peter Venslovas.