Five tonnes of sea cucumber seized from illegal fishing boat

A foreign fishing vessel illegally fishing in Australian waters has been intercepted by Australian Border Force officers.

The boat, believed to be Vietnamese, was intercepted on Saturday after it was spotted near Dianne Bank, approximately 250 nautical miles to the northeast of Cairns, and 136 nautical miles within Australia’s fishing zone.

Officers from the Australian Border Force raided the boat and discovered dive equipment and approximately five tonnes of Bech-de-mer (sea cucumber).


The vessel and its 16 crew members were brought into Cairns, where further investigations are currently underway.

AFMA General Manager Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas, said Australia’s well-managed fisheries were tempting for those seeking to do the wrong thing.

“Our strict rules and regulations mean that we have a healthy marine environment and sustainable fisheries,” Mr Venslovas said.

“However, fishing without permission undermines the very rules and regulations in place to ensure that Australians can continue to enjoy a healthy supply of seafood for many generations to come.

“This interception demonstrates our whole-of-government commitment to illegal fishing and sends a strong signal to those looking to plunder our resources.”

In the last financial year, 20 illegal foreign fishing vessels were apprehended in Australian waters.