6 April 2006
Norwegian court has dismissed charges brought against Russian fishing companies by Norwegian authorities in October 2005

On the 16-17 of March this year the court of Tromso (Norway) considered a claim by the Norwegian Public Prosecutor’s Office against the Russian fishing company OAO Arkhangelsk Trawler Fleet which is 100% owned by the Russian Federation. The company was accused of violating Norwegian fishing regulations including illegal fishing and failure to notify the Norwegian authorities about the transhipping of fish near the Bear Island, Norway. Other defendants in this case were the owner and the captain of vessel ‘Dmitry Pokramovich’.

EPAP aimed to prove the unlawfulness of the fine of 900 000 Norwegian Krona (350 000 USD) which was imposed by the Norwegian authorities against ‘Capitan Gorbachev’ and the captain. . The trawler had transhipped fish near the Bear Island but acted in accordance with the Norwegian regulations that had been provided to them by Russian authorities.

“The defendants were exonerated on all points’- said Daniil Petrov, the senior lawyer of EPAM, who defended ATF interests in the court. ‘Evidently, the Norwegian court realised that fishermen should not become victims of the lack of coordination between Russian and Norwegian authorities on the issue of fishing in the area of Spitsbergen Archipelago”.

“We hope that the fact that in December 2005 the conflict between the two countries over Russia’s acting in accordance to Norwegian laws of fishing has been resolved and Russian fishermen have now been instructed to abide by Norwegian regulations,” added Daniil Petrov. “Following today’s decision of the Norwegian court, this fact should prevent any unjust accusations and sanctions against Russian fishermen working in Norwegian seas from happening in the future”