Posted on February 06, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Russian authorities have seized a Japanese crab fishing boat for allegedly fishing illegally in Russia’s exclusive economic zone.
The ship in question is the Nishino Maru No. 68, a fishing vessel owned by a Japanese company based out of Shimane Prefecture.
The vessel was seized, along with its crew of 10 fishermen, in late January, and was taken to Nakhodka, approximately 60 miles east of Vladivostok.
Local authorities from the Shimane Prefecture have been in contact with their Russian counterparts in an effort to release the crew of the seized vessel.
"We are asking the Russian side, through diplomatic channels, to release them as soon as possible,” they shared in a statement to AFP.
Reportedly, the ship had left Shimane on January the 26th, in order to fish for snow crabs (also known as spider crabs), in the Sea of Japan, but all contact was lost with the vessel on Wednesday the 31st.
In the meantime, Russian security authorities have asked a court to impose administrative punishment on the Captain of the fishing vessel.
Reportedly, the crab fishing vessel was found carrying over 7.5 tons of crabs at the time of seizure.
Hideji Kagami, the 52-year-old captain of the Nishino Maru is expected to be fined; Russian authorities estimate that the vessel’s cargo to be worth approximately $600,000.
According to Russian media, the crew is treated well and is in good health.