Sydney, Feb 17 (IANS) Australian authorities on Friday detained 29 Vietnamese fisherman, accusing them of illegally fishing off the the country's coastline.
The Vietnamese nationals were in two boats, when they were first spotted on Wednesday by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers, in the Saumarez Reef in Queensland, Xinhua news agency reported.
The boats were raided, and authorities said they discovered sea cucumbers, leading them to take both the vessels and their crew back to their headquarters.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority, who partnered with the ABF in detaining the vessels were pleased with the result, while their general manager of operations Peter Venslovas, issued a warning to anyone thinking of conducting similar operations.
"Foreign fishers seeking to take advantage and target our fish resources will be caught and run the risk of being prosecuted and having their boats confiscated and destroyed," Venslovas said.
ast year 10 Vietnamese boats were held by Australian authorities, 121 fisherman were convicted of illegal poaching, and over 32,000 tonnes of sea cucumber were seized.