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Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Skipper charged over fur seal deaths

Media release
20 October 2009

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A skipper of an Australian commercial fishing vessel has been charged for killing nationally protected Australian fur seals while trawl fishing off Tasmania.

It is alleged that the 44-year-old’s trawling practices in July and August 2006 led to the death of 31 fur seals, which are protected marine species under the national environment law.

He is charged with taking an action that led to the death of a listed marine species while in Commonwealth waters, under section 254 (1) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The maximum penalty for this offence is a $110,000 fine and/or two years jail.

The matter is set to appear before the Perth District Court on 6 November 2009.

DEWHA media: 02 6274 2544