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  Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Criminal proceedings have been opened against the captain of the Tomi Maru 53 trawler of Japan
Criminal proceedings have been opened against the captain of the Tomi Maru 53 trawler of Japan that was detained in the Bering Sea on suspicion of violation of fishing rules. The captain faces responsibility for the violation of Russian legislation during “exploration of the natural resources of the continental shelf of Russia or Russia’s exclusive economic zone,” the Kamchatka regional nature protection Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday. The Tomi Maru 53 ship was detained in Russian waters in early November together with another three Japanese vessels. Unloading of fish from the trawler for metering started at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky port. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the Tomi Maru 53 caught about 25 tonnes of halibut, codfish and other fish having permission only for catches of herring and Alaska pollack. So far it has not been decided on the responsibility to which the captains of the Gyokuryu Maru and Yokei Maru 5 vessels may be brought. They also entered the Avachinsk Bay for an inspection. Another Japanese vessel that was detained in early November - the Dairin Maru 5 was released on November 4, because is did not commit serious violations. The Japanese vessels that were engaged in fisheries in Russia’s exclusive economic zone had permission to catch 1,018 tonnes of Alaska pollack and herring. On November 2, Russian border guards found on board the Tomi Maru 53 ship about 5.5 tonnes of concealed fish. It was decided to thoroughly examine the whole vessel. On November 4, the Japanese voluntarily entered the Avachinsk Bay, because a storm impeded the inspection at sea. Head of the North-East coast guard department of Russia Alexander Lebedev said that according to preliminary information, the Japanese fishermen concealed from registration about 76.5 tonnes of fish, which is violation of fishing rules. The unloading of two out of three Japanese ships detained by border guards on suspicion of violation of fishing rules in the Bering Sea continued at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky port on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, the public relations group of the North-East coast guard department told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. Fish is unloaded from the trawlers Tomi Maru 53 and Gyokuryu Maru to refrigerators on the shore for metering. The Yokei Maru 5 ship is waiting its turn. It is planned to fully complete the operation before this weekend. All the vessels are in Russian waters with closed border. The crew are not allowed to come ashore, the coast guard department officials said. Administrative offence cases have been opened on the facts of violations committed by the captains of the Tomi Maru 53 and Gyokuryu Maru. The investigation has been launched.
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