State and Commonwealth enforcement agencies combined forces this week to conduct a joint marine Operation between Mooloolaba in South East Queensland and Yamba in New South Wales. The Operation commenced on November 3 and continued until 2pm today, November 6.

The combined resources of Queensland Police, NSW Police, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Australian Customs and Border Protection targeted illegal activities within the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) out to 200 nautical miles to sea.

Despite strong winds and rough conditions, approximately 150 commercial fishing vessels and private boats were intercepted and inspected for a range of compliance and illegal activities.

Vessel interceptions have resulted in 10 people being charged with a variety of minor drug-related offences. 100 Random breath tests were conducted with approximately 30 state marine compliance offences detected.

In addition, several Customs and Border Protection breaches are also being investigated.

The operation involved a number of Police Service vessels including the 32 metre “Nemesis” from NSW and the 22 metre “Brett T Handran” from Queensland.

Air support was also provided by the Border Protection Dash 8 surveillance aircraft.

This is the fifth and largest operation of this type conducted to date on the eastern seaboard involving multiple state and commonwealth agencies.

NSW Police Marine Area Command Inspector Joe McNulty said the results and the level of co-operation between all agencies in the planning and enforcement phases of this operation were pleasing.

“The NSW Police Marine Area Command will continue to target illegal and unsafe behaviour by mariners. Officers based along the NSW eastern seaboard will work with their interstate and federal colleagues to target those who try to circumvent the law,” Inspector McNulty said.