Coast guards in Russia’s Far East opened fire to stop a foreign fishing vessel poaching crab in Russia’s territorial waters, local security authorities said Monday.
Russia’s Pagella coast guard vessel ordered the trawler to stop in the Sea of Okhotsk and fired warning shots over it, but the crew dumped their haul of crab in the water and tried to escape, the regional Federal Security Service (FSB) said.
The Pagella then fired shots at the radio mast of the poaching vessel, prompting the captain to slow the ship down and allow coast guards on board for inspection, the FSB said.
The 18-member crew consisted of 14 Russians and four Indonesians, according to the report.
“None of the crew was injured. The vessel was identified as the Iskander, registered in the port of [Cambodian capital\ Phnom Penh,” the FSB said.
The vessel has been detained and is being escorted to the Russian port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
The Russian coast guard is actively involved in fighting illegal fishing in Russia's territorial waters and frequently detains foreign-flagged poaching vessels.
Russia's Audit Chamber recently said that the country loses up to 30 billion rubles ($9 million) a year due to fish and crab poaching.