Crab catcher arrested in Svalbard zone

Crab catcher arrested in Svalbard zone

A Latvian-registered fishing vessel has been apprehended by the Norwegian Coast Guard in the Svalbard zone, suspected of fishing illegally for snow crab.

The Senator was boarded and inspected by a team from Coast Guard vessel KV Svalbard and is now reported to be making its way to a Norwegian port for further investigation, escorted by KV Svalbard, and through some very heavy weather that has delayed their passage.

It appears that Senator had begun fishing without the required permits from the Norwegian authorities.

Audun Maråk of Norwegian vessel operators’ federation Fiskebåt has welcomed the Coast Guard’s action.

‘It is important that the Norwegian authorities defend Norway’s sovereignty in this region,’ he said.

‘We are delighted that fisheries minister Per Sandberg and the Coast Guard have taken rapid action and that the vessel and its equipment are being brought to a Norwegian port to be investigated by the police.’

Heavy weather has held up progress in steaming to Norway from the Svalbard area, and their provisional ETA is on Thursday.

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