By MarEx 2015-08-07 18:14:24
The crew of the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel Perlon – detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency in May this year – has been convicted of offences under the Malaysian Fisheries Act.
A Malaysian court has fined the master and the crew of the Perlon approximately $445,000 and ordered forfeiture of the catch valued at approximately $1.3 million.
Earlier this year in April, following a boarding of the vessel by Australian customs officers, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority was able to alert South East Asian countries of the possible arrival of Perlon into their ports, which resulted in the initial detention of the Perlon by Malaysian authorities.
Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the conviction sent a strong message that the international community was united in the fight against IUU fishing vessels.
“The Australian Border Force and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority will not only continue to target IUU fishing vessels in the Australian maritime domain, but continue to work with international counterparts to share information and support investigations and prosecutions to ensure justice is done,” Dutton said.
In November last year the Australian government released the second national plan of action (RPOA) to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Australia and Malaysia are two out of the eleven RPOA partner nations.
IUU fishing threatens food security, undermines the sustainability of natural marine stocks and disrupts the economic stability of communities which rely on sustainable fisheries.
The Australian government is committed to targeting vessels involved in this trade, investigating the actions of people suspected of involvement, interrupting the supply chain of illicit catch and dismantling the business model of IUU operators.