Australia’s “Operation Jawline” intercepts 19 Indonesian vessels suspected of IUU
Australian maritime operatives intercepted 19 Indonesian vessels in a two-week period in May through “Operation Jawline,” an operation coordinated by the Maritime Border Command (MBC) – a joint agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF) – with close involvement from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).
The vessels were all believed to be illegally fishing in Australia’s Northern waters.
In a press statement last week, AFMA said three Cape-class patrol boats monitored an area in the vicinity of the Ashmore Islands, Cartier Islet, and Scott Reef, more than 800 kilometers west of Darwin, Australia.
With the interceptions, approximately 860 kilograms of trepang (sea cucumber) and 105 kilograms of fresh fish product were seized.
Also seized from the intercepted vessel were fishing equipment, navigation aids, and fuel.
A press statement from the AFMA added that three of the vessels were seized and disposed of at sea, while its crew members were transferred to other vessels and escorted outside of Australia's exclusive economic zone.
The operation coincided with the commemoration of the United Nations’ International Day for the Fight Against IUU fishing on 5 June.
MBC Commander Rear Admiral Mark Hill said Australia is committed to combating IUU fishing.
“It’s true that here in Australia, illegal foreign fishing attempts have decreased in recent years thanks to a strong presence and action from government agencies. However, this operation proves the threat of illegal foreign fishing in Australian waters remains,” Hill said. “Globally, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is a significant environmental issue. Our message to unauthorized foreign fishers in Australian waters is simple: we will target you, we will intercept you, you will lose your catch, your equipment, and possibly even your vessel.”
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia