ABF operation leads to release of vulnerable marine life

A Maritime Border Command (MBC) operation has led to the successful release of two green sea turtles, following the discovery of an abandoned fishing net.

Assistant Minister Wood said this operation was made a success through the combined efforts of Australian Border Force (ABF) and Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) officers.

“Protecting marine life is an important role for the Australian Government and the release of these turtles is a great achievement for everyone,” Assistant Minister Wood said.

“This operation also highlights the broad and exceptional range of work undertaken by the MBC, and the ABF more broadly.”

MBC is a multi-agency taskforce within the ABF and Australia’s lead civil maritime security authority ensuring Australia’s maritime safety.

The net was retrieved by the ABF Cutter Cape St George, 170 nautical miles north of Darwin. The net was subsequently transported to Darwin for disposal by the AMFA.

The nets retrieved were surface driftnets, which are prohibited for use in Australia. They were of a configuration that is not used by the Australian fishing industry.

Over the past five and a half years 28 abandoned and lost fishing nets, weighing an estimated 59.6 tonnes combined, have been located and retrieved from northern Australian waters.

Lost and abandon fishing nets can cause significant distress to marine life. Operators are required to report lost and abandon nets to the relevant authorities.

For more information read the ABF article:
Sea turtles released from foreign fishing net north of Darwin.

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