The captain of a Spanish vessel has received a fine of 40,000 kroner and the company saw a confiscation of 200,000 kroner, after the vessel was fishing with bottom trawls in the Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve.
It was the Coast Guard which discovered that the trawler had fished within the boundaries of the nature reserve. The Governor was notified, and the vessel was stopped, said the Governor.
– Many may not think that the large protected areas in Svalbard have also been established to preserve the marine environment. The ban on bottom trawling is supposed to protect life in the oceans, and it is important that breaches of protection provisions are observed, as is done in this case, says environment manager Knut Fossum.
Bottom trawling does great damage to the seabed, and that is why it is forbidden in the nature reserve.
Both a fine and confiscation has been done, said the Governor.
Poor map data caused the trawler to land within the reserve’s boundaries.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today