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The captain of a Japanese trawler has been found guilty of poaching near the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East
The captain of a Japanese trawler has been found guilty of poaching near the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East, prosecutors said Friday. A court in Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky ruled that the captain of the Yokei Maru 5 trawler Soejima Kenji was guilty of violating Russia's fishing laws and abusing his office. Prosecutors said the sentence came into force Friday. Kenji was fined 250,000 rubles ($9,500). Investigators established that Kenji had organized illegal Alaska pollack fishing, without a permit in Russia's exclusive zone, which resulted in 33 metric tons of the fish being caught illegally. Three trawlers owned by one Japanese association - Yokei Maru 5, Tomi Maru 53 and Gyokuryu Maru - were seized by border guards in the Bering Sea in November 2006. The ships were found to contain illegally caught fish. Confrontations over poaching between Russian authorities and Japanese fishing vessels are frequent in Russia's Pacific waters. An incident in August 2006 near the Kuril Islands, some of which are claimed by both Russia and Japan, led to the death of a Japanese fisherman, who was inadvertently shot by Russian border guards.
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