Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts logo
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts home page

Archived media releases and speeches


Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

7 November 2006

Success in combating illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean

The Australian Government has scored a win in the fight against illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean at the annual Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) which ended in Hobart at the weekend.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said that Australian measures to prevent illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing in the CCAMLR region were adopted by the Commission.

“Member and Party nations agreed to a binding Conservation Measure placing an interim prohibition on deep-sea gill-netting in the CCAMLR Convention Area, stronger port controls and improvements to the Patagonian toothfish Catch Documentation Scheme,” Senator Campbell said.

“We need these measures if we are to make significant headway in the fight against illegal fishing.

“It is becoming apparent that some fishing vessels operating illegally in CCAMLR and adjacent waters are not only taking Patagonian toothfish but are also targeting sharks.

“This is a particularly worrying trend as it appears that demersal gillnets are beginning to be used. These nets are pulled along or close to the ocean floor and are not selective about what they catch.

“The Australian Government is opposed to needlessly destructive fishing techniques and the use of these kinds of gill-nets in the CCAMLR region is extremely hazardous to the delicate ecosystem.”

Senator Campbell said that the Commission also agreed to stronger cooperation with nations that are not members of CCAMLR to ensure that fish pirates cannot unload their illegal catches, such as Patagonian toothfish.

“It is clear that CCAMLR member countries alone cannot combat the activities of all illegal fishers,” Senator Campbell said.

“In order to make significance progress against illegal fishing we must encourage other countries to monitor vessels and control catches to ensure they are not used as ports of convenience to unload illegally-caught fish.

“By limiting the number of nations that turn their backs to illegal fishing we will be able to identify offending parties and take action against them.

Senator Campbell said the Australian Government had a responsibility as a world leader in Antarctic science to ensure the protection of the continent and the surrounding ocean for the benefit of future generations.

Media contact:
Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell’s office)02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

Antarctica Claim and Treaty Boundaries

Antarctica Claim and Treaty Boundaries

Download the map

The map is available as PDF and JPG files. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view the PDF file.

© Commonwealth of Australia