A foreign boat suspected of illegally fishing in Australian waters has been detained off Western Australia’s far north coast.

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A foreign boat suspected of illegally fishing in Australian waters has been detained off Western Australia’s far north coast.

Authorities seized 20kg of fish, which included 12 different species of reef fish, from the Indonesian vessel after it was stopped some 50 nautical miles east of Ashmore Islands, which is within the Australian Fishing Zone.

Five male crew members have been detained and are under investigation by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, which may lay charges.

The vessel and crew arrived in Darwin on Tuesday, having been detected by a Border Protection Command surveillance aircraft on Saturday. The crew was taken to the Darwin Detention Centre.

AFMA general manager of operations Peter Venslovas said it was important to tackle illegal foreign fishing to keep Australian fish stocks sustainable.