Tag Archives: Latvia

FISHY THINGS STILL CAUSING A STINK IN SVALBARD: Russia protests detaining of trawler this month; Latvian crab vessel fined 2M kr. for poaching incident that sparked global uproar

russiantrawlerdetained

Add another case to what might be called an epidemic of feverish disputes about fishing and other international rights issues in Svalbard, as Russia on Friday filed a formal protest with Norway over the detaining of a Russian trawler in the archipelago earlier month because it was operating within Norway’s fishery protection zone.

The protest follows three other detentions of Russian trawlers in recent years, plus a multitude of separate protests and other actions Russia has taken regarding what it calls Norway’s illegal interpretation of the Svalbard.

Also this week, a Latvian ship company was fined two million kroner in a by a Norwegian court for illegally catching 80 tons of snow crab in Svalbard, four years after the detaining of the vessel touched off a fierce legal battle with the European Union about access rights under the treaty. The battle took on global significance because the laws governing the seabed species are considered the same governing far more lucrative resources in the area such as oil.

A severe case of the crabs: Lawsuit about illegal fishing in Svalbard really about oil drilling rights, experts say

crabship

A kilogram of crabs costs about twice as much as a kilogram of oil. But it’s the latter that’s perceived as the real treasure in a rapidly escalating legal battle between Norway and the European Union that may redefine the Svalbard Treaty and affect rights to drilling and other activity in the region for decades to come.