Aussie fisherman charged with torture, slavery of deckhands

An Australian fisherman has been charged with nearly two dozen further offences including slavery and torture against deckhands on his boats.

The 47-year-old had already been charged with 46 offences in January after police launched a year-long investigation in far north Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria.

The man is accused of threatening and assaulting "numerous" young deckhands including men and women aboard his fishing vessels.

He is also alleged to have withheld food and water from crew members.

Detective Acting Inspector Jason Chetham in January said some of those deckhands had wages withheld and were forced to sleep on the open deck.

Some were so scared they dived into shark and crocodile-inhabited waters to seek safety, Det Insp Chetham also said.

The Karumba man has now been charged with 23 more offences including common assault, assault occasioning bodily harm, torture and slavery.

The total 69 charges relate to offences between 2020 and 2023.

He was remanded in custody to face Cairns Magistrates Court on April 5.

Police said they are continuing to appeal for "witnesses and victims" to come forward.

"Cairns detectives have commended the bravery of those who have already spoken up and reported to police," police said in a statement.

The investigation continues.