MOSCOW, January 5 (RIA Novosti) – The captain of a Russian fishing trawler detained by Senegal’s navy has no plans to leave the vessel although he needs medical aid, Russia’s federal fisheries agency said Sunday.
Captain Vadim Mantorov and a female galley attendant were injured during the detention of the Oleg Naidenov trawler with 62 Russians and 23 nationals of Guinea-Bissau on board on Saturday.
Mantorov, whose injuries resulted in hematomas, might need a thorough medical check, a spokesman for Rosrybolovstvo told the Prime news agency. However, he plans to stay on board the vessel.
Earlier on Sunday, Senegal’s authorities examined the vessel, which was escorted to the port of Dakar. The results of the checks have not been unveiled, said Yury Parshev, executive director of Feniks, the company that owns the ship.
Senegalese authorities have brought no charges against the crew, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Dakar said. He said the crew would be freed after official claims were announced.
The spokesman said the situation on board the ship was calm. “Everyone is alive and kicking, the crew members have neither complaints nor claims,” he said.
The Oleg Naidenov was boarded after it was allegedly seen illegally fishing in Senegalese waters near the border with Guinea Bissau, the AFP quoted Senegalese military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Adama Diop as saying.
But Parshev said the vessel did not operate in Senegal, but was fishing in Guinea-Bissau’s waters, and had the required license.
The Russian-flagged vessel was put on the blacklist of poaching vessels in West African seas by the Greenpeace environmental group after it was caught fishing illegally in Senegalese waters in February 2012.
The head of Russia’s federal fisheries agency, Andrei Krainy, told Dozhd TV in an interview Sunday that the detention of the vessel by Senegal was “prompted” by Greenpeace.
Greenpeace Russia Director Ivan Blokov dismissed the allegation as “strange.”
Updates with details about possible link to Greenpeace, statement by the Russian Embassy.