Commonwealth and Northern Australian governments are currently meeting in Darwin to discuss fishing in northern Australia including illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) says we’ve done enough talking about IUU fishing and without action the seas off northern Australia may face ecological collapse.
Adele Pedder, Northern Marine Campaigner with the Australian Marine Conservation Society said “Over the years AMCS has watched the IUU fishing problem escalate throughout the Arafura and Timor Seas. With inadequate government intervention to date we are now faced with a critical situation”.
“The Arafura and Timor Seas are rich in marine life and are considered a global hotspot for marine biodiversity. However the Seas are now under serious threat from IUU fishing”
Ms Pedder continued “In Australia’s waters up to 22 illegal fishing boats are being sighted every day. However you just need to step over an artificial line running through the Arafura and Timor Seas, the maritime boundary, and you are facing up to 1500 IUU industrial size vessels every day”.
“Marine life such as fish, dolphins, turtles and sharks in their fluid environments do not adhere to artificial boundaries. IUU fishing in the Arafura and Timor seas is a shared seas problem and the solution lies in a collaborative approach with our northern neighbours Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and East Timor.”
Ms Pedder concluded “unless we start working immediately with our northern neighbours there is nothing to stop the continued removal of marine life from our shared Arafura and Timor Seas until there is nothing left”.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society calls on all governments with marine jurisdiction in northern Australia to collaborate with our northern neighbours in taking immediate action to halt IUU fishing and protect the rich Seas of the Arafura and Timor.
Immediate action needed: