Russian fishing vessel leaves Norway

MOSCOW / MURMANSK, November 29 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian trawler detained in Norway's commercial waters on Sunday over fishing violations has left a Norwegian port, a spokesman for a Russian satellite monitoring center said.

Norway's coastguard detained the Tynda on suspicion of illegally fishing in its waters, which have been closed for fishing since October 15.

"The trawler left Port Tromse and is now moving across Norwegian fiords - it has not crossed the Norwegian maritime border yet," the spokesman said, citing satellite data.

The Norwegian police did not, however, confiscate the 170 metric tons of herring which the trawler, with a crew of 55, had caught. It had earlier been reported that the fish would remain in Tromse.

A source in the Russian consulate in Norway said that the captain and the ship owner were fined a total of 590,000 Norwegian kroner ($107,000). The vessel was released on bail posted by the ship's owner, Murmanrybflot.

The trawler is now heading to an island in the Barents Sea in order to meet with a transport vessel and to reload a part of its catch.

Russia and Norway have been involved in a decades-long dispute over maritime boundaries in the Barents Sea, which is rich in oil and gas reserves, as well as fishing resources. Although some progress has been made in the dispute, detentions of Russian fishing ships have been frequent in recent years.

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