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RABAT, January 05, 21:35 /ITAR-TASS/. Senegalese authorities plan to arrest the cargo of the Russian trawler Oleg Naidyonov, which Senegal’s naval ships escorted to Dakar in the small hours of Sunday, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Haidar El Ali said Sunday.
He indicated that the trawler was in the hands of the Senegalese government and under the supervision of the national navy and gendarmerie.
El Ali said the authorities might arrest the instrument of fishing and the cargo, as well as impose a fine of about 305,000 euro, adding that the size of the fine might be redoubled considering the fact that, according to his assertions, the Oleg Naidyonov crew was a “repeat offender”.
The Senegalese military detained the trawler some 46 nautical miles away from the shores of Guinea Bissau and convoyed it to Dakar.
The ship belongs to Feniks Ltd., a company registered in Murmansk. It is a 120-meters-long fishery vessel of the Moonsund family of ships and it was built in Germany in 1989.
The trawler has an 82-strong crew. A total of 62 seamen of that number hold Russian passports and another 20 are citizens of Guinea Bissau.
In the meantime, Russian diplomats and representatives of Rosrybolovstvo on Sunday met with the captain of the Oleg Naidyonov, the agency spokesman Alexander Savelyev said.
The ship is moored on a naval base now and the access there is limited but Russian diplomats and representatives Rosrybolovstvo managed to get to the trawler,” he said. “They are staying together with the captain.”
Savelyev repeated the previous information from Russian officials that the ship’s crew was not fishing at the moment of detention and was cruising in the territorial waters of Guinea Bissau, not Senegal.
“As a result, the armed action undertaken by the Senegalese military produced indignation in Russia and Guinea Bissau likewise and it’s already known that the Bissauans have broken off an agreement on fisheries with Senegal,” he said.
At the moment of detention, the ship was making a transit from one point to another and its trawl was not unfolded.
Savelyev also dismissed the allegations, which claimed the Oleg Naidyonov crew had received warnings on violations in the fishery regulations in the past, saying these statements stood at variance with reality.
When asked about the possible causes of detention, Savelyev said. “Whatever the rumors might be, the whole story obviously revolves around money because a tough competition for fishery resources in that area is underway.