Russian trawler charged with illegal fishing in U.S. waters

Posted: Sunday, August 06, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Attorney's office in Anchorage said Friday it has decided to prosecute a case involving a Russian trawler that was seized earlier this week for fishing inside U.S. economic zone waters.

The civil complaint alleges three violations of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act by the 150-foot Spitak, which was being detained in Dutch Harbor Friday. According to the complaint, the vessel was illegally fishing in U.S. waters, possessed fish taken illegally and didn't properly stow its fishing gear while in U.S. waters.

The maximum penalty is forefeiture of the vessel, the U.S. Attorney's office said in news release.

The Spitak, which is owned by the Kil Joint Stock Co., is homeported in Magadan, Russia. It was first spotted Monday by the Coast Guard during a routine patrol and seized Tuesday in the Bering Sea. The Coast Guard found about 150 pounds of fish on board the vessel and a crew of 20 Russian nationals.

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