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    Russian trawler detained for illegal fishing in disputed Arctic area

    Russian trawler detained for illegal fishing in disputed Arctic area

    © RIA Novosti . Sergey Krivosheev
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    The Norwegian Coast Guard has detained the Russian Izumrud fishing vessel for illegal fishing near the Svalbard archipelago, where maritime borders between the two countries remain undemarcated, a Russian Fisheries Agency official said on Monday

    The Norwegian Coast Guard has detained the Russian Izumrud fishing vessel for illegal fishing near the Svalbard archipelago, where maritime borders between the two countries remain undemarcated, a Russian Fisheries Agency official said on Monday.

    "The trawler is owned by a Murmansk shipping company. Norwegians blame the Russian fishermen for discarding fish from the vessel, they claim the violation was filmed from a helicopter," Andrei Privalikhin said, adding that the vessel had been escorted to the Norwegian port of Troms for investigations.

    This is the second time the Izumrud trawler has been detained by the Norwegian Coast Guard. In 2004, the captain had to pay a fine of $115,000 for concealing information about the volumes of fish it had caught.

    Russian and Norwegian ships are regularly detained in the area for violating fishing regulations.

    The Arctic territories, believed to hold vast untapped oil and gas reserves, have increasingly been at the center of disputes between Russia and Norway, as well as the United States, Canada and Denmark as rising temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice.

    Under international law, the five Arctic Circle countries each have a 322-kilometer (200-mile) economic zone in the Arctic Ocean. An area of 175,000 square kilometers has been the issue of the dispute between Norway and Russia.

    An agreement on the demarcation of the border was reached between the Russian president and Norwegian prime minister in April, but no documents have yet been signed.

    It is believed the demarcation of Russian-Norwegian maritime borders will lead to a boost in energy cooperation between the two countries.

    MURMANSK, May 31 (RIA Novosti)

     

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