the former Customs and Border Protection - Illegal foreign fishers


In recent years, International SOS was contracted by Australian Customs and Border Protection to conduct preliminary medical assessments for Illegal Foreign Fishers (IFF) detained by Customs upon their arrival at reception ports of Gove, Horn Island and Weipa.

The processing of IFF is by its nature a complex activity involving a range of government agencies.  The process is further complicated by the remote location of the reception ports.  

Reflecting the complex nature of the service requirements, International SOS provided a flexible service delivery platform to be activated if and when required to support Customs needs.  

This included the provision of medical personnel and equipment to:

  • Conduct medical assessments in accordance with protocols developed by the Communicable Disease Network of Australia to address the individual health needs of IFF, any broader health concerns and to determine that an IFF was Fit to Fly.  
  • Provide additional medical care if required by an individual fisher including medical professional escort, the provision of additional medical support in-flight, such as oxygen or medication, the use of Intensive Care Unit aircraft, or admission to the local hospital. 
  • Maintain health records for all IFF who underwent medical assessment to be forwarded in a secure manner to the relevant Commonwealth Government Department.  
  • Purchase and maintain all medical equipment, including X-Ray machines capable of producing digital images and stocks of medical consumables.