Russian Crab Trawler Seized for Poaching
Russian border guards yesterday detained a trawler carrying about 30 metric tons of crab on suspicion of poaching in Russia's Far East, according to a report on RIA Novosti.
The trawler was stopped for inspection in the Sea of Okhotsk off the western coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Inspectors found the crew had no permission to harvest crabs and discovered a number of other fishing violations.
The vessel, Kamkaido, was confiscated with all equipment on board and will be escorted to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for further enquiries.
Russia last year launched a crackdown on illegal crab fishing. Russia banned live crab exports in May 2007, but large volumes reportedly continue to be smuggled out of the country, primarily to Japan and South Korea.
U.S. imports of king crab are down dramatically this year. Through August, imports are down 54 percent from last year, to 21.3 million pounds.