Estonian Boat Captain Faces $800,000 Fine for Fishing in Russian Waters

Russian authorities in Kaliningrad have filed a 50-million-ruble ($790,000) civil action against the Estonian captain of a boat seized this month for fishing in a Russian economic zone, local news outlet Postimees reported.

Roxen, a fishing vessel sailing under the Finnish flag and owned by Estonian company Morobell, was seized earlier this month, and the four crew members were detained. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office of Russia’s Kaliningrad oblast said the captain of the Roxen is held liable for the catching of more than 7.5 tons of sprat, herring, and cod inside the Russian economic zone.

Russian authorities have removed the vessel’s navigation equipment as part of the ongoing investigation. While the captain remains in Russian custody, the boat has been released and will be directed to a dock in Denmark next.

Due to equipment malfunction, the boat ended up in the Russian zone for several hours, and fished there without a Russian permit, the accusations state.

The consequence of the incident, according to Russian authorities, is economic damage done to Russia’s marine biological resources in the amount of 50 million rubles, or around $790,000. Morobell already paid for the release of the boat, bail for which was set at $820,000.