Subject: E Timor urges cooperation in fight against poachers

ABC: E Timor urges cooperation in fight against poachers

East Timor's government says it is struggling to stop foreign vessels raiding its fisheries.

Fisheries Minister Estanislau da Silva says the country's navy has only two patrol boats, limiting its ability to combat illegal boats.

He says over a two-month period, a research vessel recently detected up to nine boats a day fishing illegally in waters south of the country.

Mr da Silva says East Timor has has prison terms of up to 10 years for illegal fishing, but it is unable to catch illegal operators.

He says his country wants to work more closely with Australia to combat the problem.

The issue is expected dominate a meeting of fisheries ministers from Australia, East Timor and Indonesia which is expected to be held in the next few week


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