01/01/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Illegal Shark Fishing Seeping Into Great Barrier Reef

MARINE conservationists say the interception of a Papua New Guinea fishing boat laden with four tonnes of "de-finned" sharks in Australian waters shows illegal shark fishing has become a worldwide enterprise and the Great Barrier Reef could be its next target.

On Thursday, Australian Customs authorities escorted an illegal fishing boat to Cairns after it was spotted 6.6 nautical miles east of Ashmore Reef an Australian Nature Reserve west of Darwin.

The boat was first detected by a Customs Coastwatch aircraft last Sunday and was intercepted.

Read more on Brisbane Times