No illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels or activities were detected during a recent joint patrol of the Southern Ocean by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the French Navy.
This impressive result can be attributed to the many years of hard work and combined effort by both Australian and French forces in combating IUU fishing in the Southern Ocean.
Two AFMA fisheries officers participated in the joint patrol with the French Navy on board French frigate, Floreal, which operated out of the French naval base on La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. FS Floreal was deployed to undertake a range of civil and military operations, including patrolling both Australian and French territories in the Southern Ocean.
AFMA officers are regularly deployed on multilateral patrols to manage responses to any IUU fishing activity that may be encountered in the Southern Ocean including Australian waters, such as the Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Fishery. These inspections are conducted to monitor compliance of fishing activities in the Southern Ocean and serves to protect an important and valuable resource for the Australian economy.
AFMA officers are authorised under the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to conduct inspections of fishing vessels outside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that are targeting Patagonian or Antarctic toothfish.
Australia works closely with regional partners, including France, throughout the year to patrol and monitor international fisheries in high seas areas adjacent to Australia’s EEZ.