Russian Trawler Detained in Norway Freed

A Russian fishing vessel detained by Norwegian coast guards earlier this week was released Thursday after its owner paid a fine, officials said.

The Novoazovsk trawler, which belongs to the Arkhangelsk Trawl Fleet company, was intercepted by a patrol boat while fishing in Norway's exclusive economic zone and escorted to the port of Tromso for investigations.

The crew was accused of illegally dumping fish. Russian fishing officials said that Norway frequently uses the term as a pretext for detaining Russian trawlers fishing off its coast.

"The vessel is still in Tromso, but will soon resume fishing," a spokesman for the Russian Fisheries Agency said.

The ship's owner was issued a fine of about $62,000, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Norway said.

"Judging by precedents, the fine looks more or less sensible. It could have been much worse," the diplomat said.

The embassy said the ship was due to leave Tromso at about 8 p.m. Moscow time.

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