The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is to sell the catch of Patagonian toothfish seized from the Uruguayan flagged longliner Maya V allegedly caught fishing illegally in the country's waters.
The vessel was apprehended by the Australian Navy in January after being caught fishing in the Australia's claimed Antarctic territorial waters around the Heard and McDonald Islands.
The catch seized from the vessel, which includes 191 tonnes of Patagonian toothfish, as well as 64 tonnes of bait, will now be sold by tender, and is estimated to be worth around AUD 2.4 million ( around USD 1.9 million).
According to authorities, the Patagonian toothfish, which is also known as white gold for its high market value, is reaching commercial extinction due to over-fishing.
All money raised from the sale of the catch will be held in a trust fund until the conclusion of legal proceedings against the vessel and its crew.
The tender, which will be managed by Western Australia's Department of Fisheries, will be advertised over the next two weeks in the Weekend Australian and West Australian newspapers.
Last August authorities captured another Uruguayan registered longliner Viarsa 1, after it was spotted fishing illegally in local waters. Around 92 tonnes of Patagonian toothfish were found onboard, which was sold by tender for over AUD 1 million. (FIS/MP).-