Japan’s Kyodo news agency reports that Russian authorities have seized a Japanese crab boat for alleged illegal fishing in an area near the disputed Kuril Islands.
Nishino Maru No. 68 left port at Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, and proceeded directly to the Sea of Japan on January 26.
Russian authorities took Nishino Maru No. 68 and its crew of 10 into custody on January 30, claiming the vessel was fishing illegally in their country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The vessel was then taken to the port of Nakhodka, the Japanese Consulate General in Vladivostok has confirmed.
The apprehending authorities have requested a local court to impose a fine on Nishino Maru No. 68’s captain proportionate to the vessel’s catch at the time of the seizure.
The catch consisted of 7.5 tonnes of crabs plus sardines and mullets and has an estimated total value of approximately 39 million rubles (US$596,000).
Also found on board were some 200 crab traps which are prohibited by Russian law and which have been confiscated.
The crab boat and its crew remain under Russian custody in Nakhodka.