Norwegian Ambassador to Moscow has received a note of protest from Russian Foreign Ministry after the Norwegian Coast Guard detained the Russian fishing vessel “Sapphire II” last week allegedly for dumping of fish in the fishery conservation zone near Svalbard.
“Sapphire II” was detained on September 28 in the Barents Sea. The arrest has triggered massive coverage in Russian media. Many articles and TV news are comparing the arrest of “Sapphire II” with the 2005-scandle when the trawler “Elekton” escaped from the Norwegian Coast Guard.
“Sapphire II” was towed to the Norwegian port of Tromsø after the vessel’s captain refused sail with own engine following the arrest by the Coast Guard vessel “Nordkapp.”
Interviewed by Business FM, Captain Vladimir Pisarenko says the Norwegian Coast Guard’s action against his vessel remained of a pirate capture.
- Eight Norwegian inspectors come onboard and arrested the vessel without presenting any claims, Pisarenko says.
- They took control of the vessel and set a certain course. Then I took countermeasures and simply turned off the engine. Then they got hysteric, seized documents and blocked our radio communication and started to tug my ship, Vladimir Pisarenko says.
The Norwegian Coast Guard says the illegal fish dumping is recorded on video and the case is now under investigation by the police in Tromsø. The interrogation of the captain started on Monday, says owner of the vessel, Vladimir Grigiriev interviewed by Izvestia.
The official Russian protest of the arrest was delivered to Norway’s Ambassador to Moscow, Knut Hauge on Friday, reports RIA Novosti.
Grigoriev says the police have confiscated the captain’s passport, the vessel’s computer and other documents onboard.
As soon as the vessel is released from arrest in Tromsø, the owner will sue the Norwegian Coast Guard with demand of compensation for damages, according to Izevestia.