The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, accountable to the European Commission, might be to blame for the detention of a Lithuanian fishing vessel in Russia as it failed to provide in time information about changes in the boundaries of Russia's special economic zone, Lithuania's Ministry of Agriculture said on Thursday.

It said the coordinates on the NEAFC database do not match the existing situation.

Russia has signed a bilateral agreement on fishing with Norway, expanding the boundaries of Russia's special economic zone. The NEAFC has also been informed about it but other countries have not, the ministry said. This might have been the reason why the Lithuanian fishing vessel Jūros Vilkas (Sea Wolf) could have sailed into Russia's special economic zone.

Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Virginija Baltraitienė plans to turn to the European Commission, demanding that the NEAFC assume responsibility for the failure to provide information about changed coordinates in time.

Russia detained the Lithuanian ship in September, accusing it of illegal crab-fishing. Its captain has been brought to administrative responsibility. A Murmansk court is scheduled to hear the case on Friday.

BNS
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