Traditional fishing regime in the Timor Sea, 1968


In 1968, the Australian government announced that Indonesian fishermen could continue ‘traditional' subsistence fishing within the new Australian Fishing Zone (AFZ), provided that such fishing was limited to the waters immediately surrounding Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Seringapatam Reef, Scott Reef, Adele Island and Browse Island   In 1974, this decision was confirmed in a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indonesian government, with the exclusion of Adele Island.  Australia continued to honour this agreement after it extended its fishing zone to 200 nautical miles in 1979, but since that time, dozens of Indonesian fishing boats have been detained in Australian waters.  In many cases, captains and crews have been prosecuted, fined and jailed and the boats burnt.


Further reading

Campbell, Bruce C., and Bu V. E. Wilson, The politics of exclusion : Indonesian fishing in the Australian fishing zone. Nedlands, W.A.: Indian Ocean Centre for Peace Studies and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 1993.

Fox, James J.,  'Legal and illegal Indonesian fishing in Australian waters', in Robert Cribb and Michele Ford. Indonesia Beyond the Waters Edge: managing an archipelagic state. Singapore: SEAS, 2009, pp. 195-220. 

Stacey, Natasha, Boats to Burn: Bajo Fishing Activity in the Australian Fishing Zone (Canberra: ANU e-press, 2007),

Williams, Meryl J., Enmeshed: Australia and Southeast Asia's fisheries. Double Bay, N.S.W.: Longueville Media, 2007. 


Year span

1968 - 1968