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Deadly fishing

Alexander Saveliev on the catastrophe with seiner "East" and catastrophes in the crab fishery

Deadly fishing

Alexander Saveliev

Head of the Fisheries Information Agency
Drowsiness probably flew from the operative on duty in the cozy capital office of Rosrybolovstvo, when he 24 January at 23: 56 Moscow time heard his colleague from the Marine Rescue Coordination Center. He reported on the operation of the emergency radio beacon of the fishing freezer "Vostok" in the icy and raging waters of the Sea of ​​Japan. The people here are experienced, they themselves sailed the seas and oceans, so an unpleasant premonition struck the heart with a cold stream.

In the Far East at this time a new day was born and the search and rescue work was already boiling, and the Investigative Committee of Russia had already opened a criminal case on the loss of the vessel.

Virtually no chances to survive with the crew.

Seiner "East" is an ordinary crab, the decks of which are set with crab traps. 10 orders of 150 traps in each. Actually because of them the crew could not cut the ice, which was rapidly growing in the night frosty element at a four-meter wave and soon turned the ship into an iceberg. A threatening sight was noticed from the neighboring ships.

Soon the air pierced SOS!

Soon, experienced experts, engaged in the search for seiner, reasoned approximately like this. On the ship there is an emergency radio transmitter, through which it is possible to give a distress signal even when all power plants are completely stopped. There's no reason in the storm, risking your life, making your way to the stern and messing around with the buoy, if there's a much simpler way to feed SOS. If the buoy worked, then it turned out to be in the water. If at the same time the vessel does not get in touch, then everything is bad, alas.

Under the keel of the "East" at the time of the tragedy was 3000 meters.

The stock of life in ice water, even in a diving suit, is about ten minutes. Not more. Dozens of people searching for a missing seiner on water and in the air, including space monitoring, understand this much better than those who read about rescue operations in the top news for several days.

With bitterness, we can say that the tragedy with seiner "East" claimed the lives of twenty people. Twenty young and strong men were killed. Hope, O Lord, the souls of your slave departed!

Such tragedies from the Far East have been reported 8 times over the past ten years. Eight! That is, almost every year. December 25, 2008 - 12 people on the Ji Won No.1 seiner. March 19, 2009 - 2 people on the schooner Kisuka. August 17, 2010 - 7 people on the pontoon of the "October" collective farm. January 7, 2011 - 14 people on the schooner Partner. February 11, 2011 - 23 people at the "Amethyst" of the Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography. December 24, 2011 - 3 people on the schooner Ginga. April 1, 2015 - 132 people on the Dalny Vostok trawler. February 7, 2016 - 16 people on the Adex seiner. Like reports from the front.

We are used to the phrase "criminal crab business." Now, unfortunately, we have to get used to the fact that he is deadly dangerous.

Because of what the men are dying? Because of money. Because of greed and negligence of crab owners. Because of carelessness. In the Far East, they joke bitterly: first we eat crab, then the crab eats us.

The crabs are dying. The ships are arrested ...

Literally on the eve of the Vostok tragedy, on January 18, the schooner Oyster under the flag of the distant African Republic of Togo was detained by Russian border guards. It turned out that the rusty wreck belongs to the Russian company "Double". Under the name "Miyo Maru 21" it came from Korsakov to Japan. Then the crew turned off the TSC, changed the name and type of the vessel. The forged ship registration documents of the schooner Oyster were issued to a foreign company, which was liquidated in 2012, registered in the Seychelles. That is, the Miyo Maru 21 and the Oyster are one and the same vessel on which only crabs were caught and transported. According to the border guards, Oyster repeatedly entered the Japanese port of Wakkanai with a live hairy crab on board, and at the time of detention introduced himself as "Altai".

So what? Nevelsky Sakhalin Oblast City Court found Double LLC guilty of violating the rules governing fishing, and fined the company 100 thousand rubles, and Miyo Maru 21 schooner, Oyster, also Altai, confiscated in favor of the state.

Well, firstly, it is generally accepted to pay for the recycling of such rubbish, but now the state will also spend money on keeping this "good". Even an administrative fine of 100 thousand rubles will not cover expenses. Secondly, what kind of "Dablo" should one really desperate to catch and drag the crab to Japan on such schooners ?! Third, with Japan, as well as with all neighboring countries in the Far East, we have signed agreements to prevent IUU fishing - illegal, unreported and unregulated. Do we have intergovernmental state contracts that do not work? Or can the crabs in our exclusive economic zone be mined by African guests?

Two days later, on 20 January, under similar circumstances, a fishing schooner OST-3 was detained under the flag of the same far-off African Republic of Tanzania, which is currently under investigation in Sakhalin.

Even without taking into account now how much all these "Dabla" steal the state, selling stolen crabs abroad, and without paying taxes or fees, it is possible to imagine with horror what vessels the risky guys under the African and the God knows what else flags of the severe waters of the Far Eastern seas. Vladimir Putin called such fishing at a meeting of the State Council ten years ago, bioterrorism. Do we ever finish it? Is it really one of the most powerful special services in the world - the FSB of Russia, which exercises state control of fishing and crab-fishing in the sea, is powerless before the Doubles? Can Rosrybolovstvo not be able to monitor the implementation of interstate agreements and Russian fisheries legislation?

In the border guard service of the Russian FSB, they tell how vessels engaged in illegal fishing disable all tracking systems and become invisible to maritime services. Then another question arises, and if these ships move with much more sinister, do not lead the Lord by intentions than crab stealing? Then it becomes scary not only for the safety of desperate crews of crab, but for safety in general.

And yet the crab business is not so much deadly as it is simply dangerous.

The other day the media reported about the crew of seiner "Santana" Sakhalin company "Albakor-Prim", which chronically does not pay salaries. The story is so familiar that only the motives of seamen who agreed to work for a shipowner whose reputation is well known from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad and even to Amsterdam provoke bewilderment.

Last summer, the regional court of Kaliningrad condemned "Albakor-Prim" and decided to recover from it debts on the wages of the crew members of the vessel "Pavel Kopytin." A year earlier, the sailors of the South Sakhalin "Albakor-Prima", under the duplicate name of "Parus" LLC, went on strike in the port of Amsterdam in connection with the chronic non-payment of wages on the vessel "Nikolay Kasatkin". Money was not paid to peasants for six months, and contracts were drawn up in such a way that each was supposed to be paid 6 thousand rubles a month.

Fine? That's so ice-cold to death for 6 thousand rubles! And even without them.

That's who does not remain in the losers, so it's the shipowners who are engaged in organizing the crab fishery and extracting super-income from simple activities. Super profits in the literal sense. The profitability sometimes exceeds 1000 percent. Bitcoins rest!

What do you think, are 6 thousands of rubles pushing guys from all over Russia without looking to sign such employment contracts, or even without them, without any registration, and without insurance, and without minimum guarantees of security, to go to an ice storm for crab fishing?

It remains only to guess that it covers the eyes of the port authorities to issue ships on a voyage that are not issued at all. Or write out passes to the port. Or register a ship role without an employment contract. If it's easy to stuff all this into the trivial bioterrorists, then it's terrible to think how terrorists can use this mess.

Okay it would be separate cases, as they say, "if someone sometimes honestly does not want to live with us." So "black" schemes of payment for seafarers are often. On the same Sakhalin, a certain ship-owner of VIP-Story Holding Ivan Pivnev became a person involved in as many as 20 (twenty!) Criminal cases. And what do you think? Even after appealing deceived sailors to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, not everyone received a salary. And not all that was promised was given to the recipients. And not in dollars, as stipulated. Crews St Vinda and Port Mei are still calling the investigator in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and are hoping to get what they have earned, by the way, stipulated in two contracts at once - in a penny-ruble and mostly, dollar with a foreign company "Renee Shiping", koi the shipowner prudently destroyed.

Here is how it may sound cynical, but in this situation, the crab owners and in deadly tragedies remain in the payoff: they do not have to pay wages, or spend money on the utilization of rusty rubbish. And the flags in Africa are full ...

Somehow in the Korean port of Tonkhe and in the northernmost Japanese city of Wakkanae, looking at perfectly new berths and shining buildings, I listened with sadness to a translation from Korean and Japanese about how in the last quarter of a century all of these Russian crab and Russian fish wonderful buildings. Now I would add: and on the blood of our muzhiks.
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