Australia destroys Indonesian ship over illegal fishing

Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - Australian authorities in Darwin have destroyed an Indonesian fishing vessel caught for fishing illegally in the Australian Fishing Zone on Oct 8.

KM Hidup Bahagia was destroyed at Bhagwan Marine Site, East Arm Darwin, at 15.00 hours on Tuesday, according to a facsimile from the Indonesian consulate in Darwin received by ANTARA here on Thursday.

The destruction of the ship was witnessed by several officials from related offices in Darwin, including AFMA, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australian Government and Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, Northern Territory Government, and Indonesian Consul in Darwin.

The ship was moved from the coast to a special location inland using crane. Other equipment in the ship, including fishing equipment and other plastic goods, were removed before it was burned.

It took three to four hours to burn down the vessel, which was carried out by a private contractor.

The fishing equipment and other plastic items taken from the boat were sprayed with disinfectant before they were buried.

According to Australian Fisheries Management Act 1992, AFMA is allowed to destroy a ship it has detained if the cost of maintaining it has surpasses its value.

Based on information from AFMA, the cost of maintaining KM Hidup Bahagia has reached A$7,000 per day.

If a court ruling later determines that the boat was not guilty of committing illegal fishing, the Australian government is obliged to compensate for the loss as much as the value of the boat.

Source: ANTARA News

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