Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Russian pirate trawler cited yet again for illegal fishing on Grand Banks

The Russian trawler Odoevsk has been cited for illegal fishing on the Grand Banks. (Correction, illegal fishing in the NAFO regulatory area.) 
The vessel was fishing redfish in late July when it was boarded and inspected by Canadian inspectors, who issued the citation for not having a valid capacity plan.
Under the NAFO convention (the Northwest Atlantic Fishery Organization oversees fishing outside Canada’s 200-mile limit), all fishing vessels must have capacity plans that have been certified within two years. 
The Odoevsk’s capacity plan had last been certified in early 2005.
Which just happens to be the last time the Odoevsk was issued a citation for illegal fishing. 
In that case, the trawler used an illegal liner inside its net while fishing directly on the Grand Banks. 
An illegal liner has extremely small mesh — fish about the size of pens and pencils are about all that can swim through. Read here for more. 
The crew of the Odoevsk cut the net and liner free before Canadian inspectors could board, but the Canadian Coast Guard ship Teleost was able to retrieve the net. 
Russian authorities apparently recalled the ship to port and suspended its fishing licence for one year, although that report was never independently verified.
Under NAFO rules, it’s up to the home country of a vessel charged with illegal fishing to follow through with prosecution. 

DFO never releases information on the penalties (if any) imposed by a foreign country against one of its fishing trawlers for fear it may jeopardize international relations. 

Which take precedence over NL relations.

Russia recently banned the importation of Canadian seal products, accusing Canada of being inhumane to seals. 

At the same time, Russia is one of the foreign countries that has picked the Grand Banks clean of fish.

The Canadian flight crews that carry out surveillance over the Banks call foreign trawlers LCBs. 

Which stands for Lyin' Cheatin' Bastards. 

The crew of the Odoevsk has a long history of illegal fishing, including off Argentina in 2002. 

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