Greenpeace Evidence Prompts Russia to Detain Notorious Pirate Fishing Fleet

Press release - 3 October, 2006
After being presented with a dossier of evidence by Greenpeace, Russian authorities have agreed to detain five notorious pirate fishing vessels (1) in harbour at Svetly, near Kaliningrad.

A notorious pirate fishing fleet in the harbour of Svetly in Kaliningrad. The ships are blacklisted by the European Union, Iceland and North East Atlantic Fisheries Committee (NEAFC). The ships are constantly being re-named and re-flagged to avoid transparency. Greenpeace demands the Russian authorities to follow the NEAFC agreement to not give these vessels any form of port services and confiscate their fishing capabilities.

A letter from the captain of the Kaliningrad SeaFisheries Port, V.F.Morozov, (2) confirms the authorities will "conduct aninspection of these vessels, as well as to not process ship documents, anddocuments of the crew of these vessels in order to prevent their leaving of theport of Kaliningrad until the appropriate organs take a substantiated decisionon the given situation."

"This decision shows, that if theyare actually enforced, there are some laws and international agreements thatcan stop pirate fishing. But, the majority of the high seas remain largelyunregulated by such agreements. This needs to stop. The world’s governmentshave a chancecto take the first step by establishing a moratorium onhigh seas bottom trawling at the United Nations this week," said FrodePleym, Greenpeace ocean campaigner on board the Arctic Sunrise in Kaliningrad.

Greenpeace has taken action against the pirate fleeton a number of occasions when they have been repaired and re-supplied illegallyby signatories to North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, NEAFC. In March2006 Greenpeace took action against vessels from the fleet getting services inRostock, Germany, Swinoujscie, Poland and Klaipeda, Lithuania.

Today, Greenpeace also filed an official complaintwith the EU Commission, demanding the Commission enforce Community fisherieslaw which the international environmental organisation claims Germany violatedafter officials assisted the pirate fleet during their stay in Rostock.

"Russia is now doing what other countries shouldhave done a long time ago.
By detaining the pirate fleet Russia is setting animportant precedent in terms of making illegal fishing history, an example thatother countries must follow." added Frode Pleym.

The Greenpeace ships, the Arctic Sunrise and Esperanzaare exposing the threat of pirate fishing in Russia and in the Pacific as partof the Defending Our Oceans campaign. Illegal fishing is a global problem,accounting for 20% of the world's total fish catch and worth up to $9 billion ayear.


VVPR info: Frode Pleym, ocean campaigner: + 46 703 535 766 Katarzyna Guzek,ocean campaigner. + 48 500 236 211 Jan Isakson, press officer. + 46 70 608 74 83 All aboard the Arctic Sunrise. When out of GSM-range call Arctic Sunrise sat. phone: + 871 324 453 810 On land in Russia:Alexei Kiselev, campaigner. Tel. +7 903 7705786, Vera Bakasheva, press officer. +7 903 2193287

Notes: (1) The ships are: Rosita (formerly Okhotino), Carmen (formerly Ostrovets), Eva (formerly Oyra), Juanita (formerly Ostroe) and Isabella (formerly Olchan). They are all sister vessels and 63 meters long trawlers, and currently under Georgian flag.The trawler case study on the trawlers can be downloaded here: letter from the Russian Port Authorities can be downloaded here: