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ARKHANGELSK, January 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian trawler Novoazovsk, arrested by the Norwegian authorities overnight to Monday and released against a pledge of $ 60,000 Thursday will continue fishing for cod in the Norwegian economic zone, Yuri Nikulin, the Director General of the OAO ATF company that owns the trawler told Itar-Tass Thursday.
A pledge of around $ 60,000 was remitted for trawler earlier in the day, he said. “We don’t have precise information at the moment but the ship is getting ready to leave the port of Tromse.”
A spokesman for the press service of Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries /Rosbyrolovstvo/ told Itar-Tass earlier the Norwegian authorities had released the Novoazovsk against a banking guarantee of $60,000.
“By making a pledge upon the lawyer’s advice, we kind of agreed to the penal sanctions issued by the Norwegian side for what the Norwegians believed were encroachments on the regulations for fishing in the kingdom’s economic zone,” Nikulin said. “Still we have an opportunity to file a petition /against the Norwegians’ action/ with the court.”
He admitted, however, it was too early yet to mull over the prospects of this case in the courtroom. “We must scrutinize all the materials provided by the Norwegians and hold an internal investigation of the actions undertaken by the ship’s captain and traffic service, and a decision will be taken afterwards on the basis of this analysis.”
“There’s a definite period, during which we can do it, and if we fail to challenge the penalty, the pledge we’ve remitted will be written off to pay the penalty up,” Nikulin said.
A frigate of Norway’s Coastal Guard detained the Novoazovsk January 13. The ship’s captain, Vassily Pashchenko said the Norwegians had clutched at a minor technical incident to detain it - an insignificant quantity of small-size fish had been washed off into seawater through a damaged railing of the drain-hole.
Captain Pashchenko strongly denied a possibility of a premeditated discharge of the fish, which would mean a grave violation of Norwegian laws.
In spite of this, the Norwegian authorities decided to impose a fine of around $ 5,000 on the captain and a fine of $ 16,000 on the ship owner, which is close to the minimum size of the penalty.