Govt cracks down on illegal fishing boats Australia
The Federal Government says it has made sweeping changes to the way illegal fishing boats are detained at Gove, off the Northern Territory’s Arnhem Land coast, after a boat escaped last month.
The boat made its way into international waters after picking up the crew of another boat detained nearby.
Federal Fisheries Minister Ian Macdonald says it was an embarrassing incident that should not have happened.
He says major changes have been made at Gove, which has been a particularly difficult area.
“Because a lot of boats come there and the facilities haven’t been up to scratch to the present time, but again the Government’s funded some $90 million to upgrade the facilities both at Gove and in Thursday Island in the Torres Strait so that we can better handle the increasing number of vessels that we are catching.
“We have new systems in place to make sure that that never can happen again, it shouldn’t have happened in this instance, but it did and we’re making sure that the rules of engagement, the criteria we put in place, the arrangements we put in place, particularly at Gove, have been upgraded to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”