Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Illegal fishing of dolphins requires government's protection

The Western Australian Government is calling on the Federal Government to intensify its border protection in the state's far north.

A report prepared by the WA Fisheries Department has found that illegal fishing killed 3,600 dolphins in the past year alone.

The State Government also believes Indonesian poachers caught more than 360,000 kilos of shark, which is more than 80 per cent of WA's domestic shark catch.

The Minister for Fisheries, Jon Ford, says more patrol boats are needed in the area.
"This needs urgent immediate action," he said.

"Without boats on the water at the moment this will just go on and on."

But federal Fisheries Minister Eric Abetz says the report is aimed at justifying the closure of Western Australian shark fisheries.

"This so-called report, which I think is more an internal departmental document, has been produced to justify what could not have been justified previously," he said.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"