Australian authorities capture vessels suspected of illegally fishing for sea cucumber
Border Force officials in Australia apprehended a pair of Vietnamese fishing vessels suspected of operating illegally in the waters off the coast of Cairns.
The Maritime Border Command captured the vessels and the 28 crew members aboard them as of 29 March, and are in the process of delivering the detained to the Australian government for prosecution, reported the Australian Associated Press. The crew members will be placed in immigration detention while an investigation is conducted by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).
Considerable amounts of fishing gear were found on board the vessels as well as a cache of sea cucumbers suspected of being illegally caught over the weekend near to the Lockhart River in Cape York.
In the aftermath of the capture, some important questions need to be asked and answered, said Lockhart River mayor Wayne Butcher to AAP: "It's a question that needs to be asked, how they (illegal fisherman) got through the Torres Strait? And how they got this far?"
Meanwhile, the Maritime Border Command continues to work tirelessly to combat illegal fishing activities in Australia’s waters, Rear Admiral Peter Laver from Maritime Border Command assured AAP.