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Benguela: Olutorsky ship starts unloading catch

Wed, 08 Jul 2020 11:58 - Updated Wed, 08 Jul 2020 11:58

Ukrainian-owned Olutorsky ship seized

Photo: Carlos Benedito

Lobito: Ukrainian-owned Olutorsky ship began Tuesday unloading the catch in Lobito, coastal Benguela province, after four-day stand-off between the owner and the local authorities.

National police had seized the Olutorsky ship, with 800 tones of mackerel fish.

The unloading operation would not start until the delivery of a notification from the minister of Agriculture and Fisheries António Francisco de Assis to the ship owner, who requested it.

The document stipulates AKz 506. 3 million fine, including ten percent for Benguel province, as the incident took place in the province's Port of Lobito.

Speaking to the press, the provincial commander of the National Police, deputy commissary Joaquim Ribeiro, confirmed the seizure of Olutorsky ship and the referred fine.

 The notification was a requested by the ship owner during the negotiations, but only after 3 pm the first of the ten trucks started  being loaded, said the high ranking police officer.

Despite its failure to abide by the law, by catching more than 800 tons of mackerel fish in a period the fishing of the species is not allowed in national waters, the “Olutorsky”, which operates under the Cameroonian flag, is authorised to fish in national waters, under license number “CDP000000060”, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The  90 crew-member ship, amongst Russians and Ukrainians, was fined due to fishing mackerel at an inappropriate time and for forging data on the quantities caught.

The situation worsened after the captain refused to authorise the unloading of the product, in defiance of fishing inspection service.