Subject: Banned fishing nets donated to East Timor

Victoria

FROM THE MINISTER FOR ENERGY AND RESOURCES

DATE: Thursday, November 22, 2001

EAST TIMORESE BENEFIT FROM VICTORIAN NET AMNESTY

A fishing net amnesty in Victoria is about to benefit struggling fishers in East Timor, the Minister for Energy and Resources, Ms Candy Broad, announced today.

Ms Broad said illegal nets recovered during the recent amnesty would be shipped to East Timor where they would be assessed by United Nation officials and distributed to local commercial fishers.

“Recent turmoil in East Timor has resulted in much of the country’s fishing gear being destroyed, stolen or confiscated. This has removed the basic means of securing food and income for many coastal fishing families,” she said.

“The amnesty from 1 May to 31 October gave Victorians the chance to hand in their nets with no questions asked and at the same time provide vital equipment to a struggling nation.”

Ms Broad met representatives of Melbourne’s East Timorese community on the steps of Parliament House today to hand over more than 350 fishing nets collected during the amnesty.

She said that it was important to note that the nets would be used for commercial fishing in East Timor. The ban on mesh fishing nets in Victoria applies to recreational fishing.

“Importantly, the UN Fishing Authority will ensure that the nets are distributed appropriately and are assessed to ensure that they are put to sustainable use in the East Timorese environment,” Ms Broad said.

“The Bracks Government continues to offer practical support to the East Timorese and the net amnesty project has been another way of helping them rebuild their nation.”

The use of recreational mesh fishing nets has been prohibited in all Victorian waters to protect the state’s fish resources.

A fine of up to $4000 can be imposed for being in possession of an illegal net in Victorian waters and a fine of $10,000 or six months imprisonment can be imposed for using any of the banned nets.

---

DATE: Monday, April 30, 2001

EAST TIMORESE BENEFIT FROM VICTORIAN NET AMNESTY

A fishing net amnesty in Victoria from May 1 to October 31, 2001, is set to benefit struggling fishers in East Timor, the Minister for Energy and Resources, Ms Candy Broad, announced today.

Ms Broad said that nets recovered during the amnesty would be shipped to East Timor where they would be assessed by United Nation officials and distributed to local commercial fishers.

“The amnesty gives Victorians the chance to hand in their nets with no questions asked and at the same time provide vital equipment to a struggling nation,” the Minister said.

Ms Broad today presented the first of the nets to the co-ordinator of the National Council of the Timorese Resistance, Ms Etervina Groenen, at the Compleat Angler in Melbourne.

The decision to provide East Timorese fishers with the nets follows a visit by Premier Steve Bracks to the nation earlier this month. During the two-day visit, Mr Bracks announced, among other initiatives, a joint effort to donate $50,000 worth of chain saws, tool sets and safety equipment to East Timorese power workers.

“Today’s announcement is another example of the role Victoria has in helping the East Timorese to rebuild their nation,” Ms Broad said.

She said that it was important to note that the nets would be used for commercial fishing in East Timor. The ban on mesh fishing nets in Victoria applies to recreational fishing.

“Importantly, the UN Fishing Authority will ensure that the nets are distributed appropriately and are assessed to ensure that they are put to sustainable use in the East Timorese environment,” Ms Broad said.

The use of recreational mesh fishing nets has been prohibited in all Victorian waters to protect the state’s fish resources. In addition to mesh nets, drum nets, fyke (eel) nets, trammel nets and seine nets are all illegal except when used under a commercial fishing licence or permit.

“Those likely to be in possession of the nets include commercial fishers who have accepted the licence buy-back from bays and inlets, unlicensed people who have nets and want to dispose of them during an amnesty period and ex recreational mesh net licence holders,” she said.

Unlicensed fishers should use the amnesty and thus avoid fine and future prosecution under the Fisheries Act. A fine of up to $4000 can be imposed for being in possession of an illegal net in Victorian waters and a fine of $10,000 or six months imprisonment can be imposed for using any of the banned nets.

The amnesty will be widely advertised in daily and regional newspapers, on radio and throughout fishing publications.

Fisheries officers in coastal and inland NRE office locations will accept and store the nets.


Back to November menu
October

World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from http://www.v3inc.com/