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Russia to protect its trawlers in Spitsbergen waters

Russia to protect its trawlers in Spitsbergen waters 01.04.2008
From now on, Russia will actively protect its trawlers in the waters around Spitsbergen, Head of the Russian State Committee of Fisheries, Andrey Krainy said on Thursday, 27.

The top fishery official confirms that two fishery inspection vessels will operate permanently in the area. On Monday we will get funding for the hiring of two vessels which will head towards Spitsbergen for the protection of our ships, Mr. Krainy said at a press conference in Moscow today.

The powerful Russian fishery boss, who has promised to boost Russian fish catch in few years, underlines that Russian trawlers from now on will operate in the Spitsbergen waters all year round, Gazeta.ru reports with reference to Interfax.

- I believe the number of detentions of Russian vessels, like with the Elektron, Izumrod and other, will drop significantly, Mr. Krainy added.

The more active Russian role in the waters around Spitsbergen could spur tensions with the Norwegian Coast Guard, which today takes on fishery inspections in the area.

Russia disputes the Norwegian establishment of a fishery protection zone in the area around Spitsbergen from 1977, and has protested loudly to the Norwegian Coast Guards arrests of Russian trawlers violating fishery restrictions in the area.

Source: www.barentsobserver.com

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