Bunkering for plundering on Tenerife

And who will receive 3,7 tonnes of frozen fish?
Published: 13.08 - 2008 16:01Printer version    
Western Sahara Resource Watch was present when the Russian trawler Admiral Starikov bunkered in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands on 12th of August 2008.

The vessel came directly from the city of Dakhla, in Western Sahara. Admiral Starikov has been fishing offshore Western Sahara for a several weeks.

The last reports of Admiral Starikov (graphic to the right), showed it was fishing off Western Sahara May 1st to 10th.

WSRW could observe that three entire trailers full of empty carton boxes were loaded onto the ship. Each trailer carried 108 pallets, each pallet contained 580 empty boxes. And each box can seemingly carry 20 kg, according to its labelling. WSRW thus estimates that the vessel is shipping to Dakhla empty carton boxes that can lead to an export of 3,7 tonnes of frozen fish from occupied Western Sahara.

People working on the vessel told she was about to be undertaken some repairs. After final bunkering, she would return to the Saharan fishing banks, according to the workers.

The boxes were labelled "B. Kapit. B.", which could mean "Kapitan Bogomolov", one of the Admiral Starikov's sister vessels. WSRW reported Kapitan Bagomolov fishing offshore in Western Sahara in January 2008.

"In recognizing the inalienable rights of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories to the natural resources in their territories, the General Assembly has consistently condemned the exploitation and plundering of natural resources and any economic activities which are detrimental to the interests of the peoples of those Territories and deprive them of their legitimate rights over their natural resources."
United Nations Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs, Mr. Hans Corell, in letter to the Security Council, on 29th of January 2002.
It is not known who will finally receive the fish after exports. What is for sure, is that the trade is to the benefit of the Moroccan Fisheries Minstry. The Russians has under their fisheries agreement paid Morocco to fish in the occupied Western Sahara, despite that no states have recognised Moroccan sovereignty over the territory. Morocco violates international law by maintaining the 33 year long occupation.

To comparison, the indigenous Sahrawi people do not earn from the fishing deals. The majority of the Sahrawis fled their homeland when Morocco illegally occupied it in 1975, and still live in refugee camps in the Algerian desert. There, they suffer from a humanitarian crisis worse than in Darfur. 1 out of 5 children remain malnourished.

The first photo below shows Admiral Starikov together with another sister vessel, the Aleksandr Mironenko. The latter vessel was also observed fishing off Western Sahara in January.

All these Russian vessels belong to the Murmansk Trawl Fleet -controlled by the Russian government. The company producing the boxes is Inducar, based in Laderitas Del Pilar, 2 El Chorrillo, Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Tenerife 38108.

The day after, on 13th of August, yet another vessel belonging to Murmansk Trawl Fleet arrived Puerto de Tenerife. This time it was the 1983-built Orca Reefer (IMO number 8223323), on its way to Dakhla, Western Sahara. The vessel is a refrigerated cargo carrier, flagged on St.Kitts and Nevis.  See photo below, taken on the 13th of August.

Admiral Starikov and Aleksandr Mironenko, 12th of August 2008

Admiral Starikov discharging, 12th of August 2008

Bunkering of Admiral Starikov, 12th of August 2008

Orca Reefer, 13th of August 2008

Arrival info from Puertos de Tenerife:




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.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.

WSRW.org News Archive 2020
WSRW.org News Archive 2019
WSRW.org News Archive 2018
WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy