MOSCOW, January 09. /ITAR-TASS/. The owner of the Russian Oleg Naidenov fishing trawler, which was seized by the Senegalese military on January 4, plans to file a suit with the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, spokesman for the Russian fisheries agency Alexander Savelyev told journalists on Thursday.
“On our part, we think that it would be expedient to file a suit with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg,” he said. Earlier, this court promptly considered the case of the Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship that had been arrested in Russia’s Murmansk. “As a rule, [in cases like this] this tribunal rules to release the ship and the crew,” he added.
According to Savelyev, the Russian ship owner is sustaining material and goodwill impairment losses, with one day of idling costing one million rubles (1 USD=33 rubles).
He also noted that the Russian fisheries agency believed that Greenpeace had been behind the seizure of the Russian vessel. “Greenpeace is used as a tool in a fierce competition for resources: Chinese fishers are seeking to squeeze out European rivals. Littoral states also have their own interests. Senegalese fishers, too, demand that industrial catch be banned,” he said.
The Oleg Naidenov suspected of illegal fishing within Senegalese waters was seized by the Senegalese military 46 miles of Guinea-Bissau on January 4 with 82 crew onboard, including 62 Russians and 20 citizens of Guinea-Bissau, and convoyed to the port of Dakar on January 5. During the seizure several sailors were injured.
The Oleg Naidenov is owned by private company Fenix, registered in Murmansk, the extreme northwest part of Russia. It is a big fishing boat of Moonzund type, 120 meters long, built in Germany in 1989.
The crew remains on board the vessel under control of the Senegalese law enforcers. Sailors’ passports were confiscated soon after the arrest and the crew was not allowed to leave the trawler.