Two Russian vessel captains fined N.dollars 1 million for illegal fishing

The Walvis Bay Magistrate has found two Russian nationals fishing vessel captains guilty of illegal fishing and fined them an amount of more N.dollars 1 million collectively.

The two, 62 year-old Iurri Shupletsov and 58 year-old Lurri Festov and were fined N.dollars 700 000 and N.dollars 330 000 or 3 years imprisonment, respectively, after they were found guilty after illegally fishing in Namibian waters last year October.

The judgement was passed down by Magistrate John Sindano on the last day of the two-day trial here on Tuesday.

According to the court, Shupletsov who has allegedly been fishing in Namibian waters since 1997, stands accused of contravening the marine resource act - violated any right or exploratory right quota fishing agreement act 27 of 2000.

Festov, who is the vessel captain of fishing vessel Venus, a Namibian registered company, is also accused of the similar offence.

The charges against the captains as outlined by State Prosecutor Tuihaleni Hilikuete, state that they were fishing Horse mackerel and other juvenile fish species which are valued to about N.dollars 1, 1 million.

Hilikuete argued that the co-accused have disrupted the ecosystem as well as put a dent in the country's economy.

She further argued that this case has been of public interest adding that the accused captains had also benefited from these fishing methods.

The accused were represented by Roger van Wyk.

Source: Namibia Press Agency