Russian fleet has entered Saharawi waters
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2 weeks after Russia and Morocco signed a new fisheries agreement, the Russian fishing fleet has entered the waters offshore occupied Western Sahara.
Published: 26.12 - 2012 10:51Printer version    
Photo above: Russian trawler Admiral Starikov bunkering in Las Palmas in 2008. After some months pause, the Russian fleet returned to waters of occupied Western Sahara in December 2012

On 10 December, the Russian and Moroccan governments signed a controversial four year fisheries agreement. The agreement allowed 10 Russian trawlers to fish in Moroccan waters. But already now, 2 weeks later, it is clear that the agreement is being applied also offshore the territory of Western Sahara, which is under Moroccan occupation.  Such fishing is clearly in violation of international law.

As of 26 December 2012, between four and six Russian vessels are engaged in fishing in the waters off occupied Western Sahara:

  • The m.v. Lazurnyy and the m.v. Zamoskvorechye are  located on the mid-coast, between Dakhla and Bojador.  
  • South of the Bay of Cintra and northwest of Cape Blanc, the m.v. Oleg Naydenov and the m.v. Humpback Whale are fishing.  
  • Just further south the m.v. Aleksandr Mironenko and the m.v. Alexander Kosarev may be moving in to fish, but it is unclear if they are actually fishing. Aleksandr Mironenko has been fishing in Western Sahara on numerous occasions in the past.



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    Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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