Report: Russia seizes 5 fishing boats off eastern coast(Updated 05:40 p.m.)



Russian authorities seized several fishing boats off the country's east coast including three with Japanese-sounding names, but none of the boats were of Japanese origin, officials and news reports said Thursday.

Four ships were seized Wednesday off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Sea of Okhotsk on suspicion of illegal fishing for crab, the northeast regional division of the Russian coast guard service, a branch of the Federal Security Service, said in a statement.

The three boats are registered in Cambodia, owned by a company in Belize and have Russian crews, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported, citing regional coast guard service spokesman Andrei Orlov.

The fourth ship, and another boat seized Wednesday in another part of the Sea of Okhotsk with an allegedly illegal cargo of fish, belong to companies in Russia, the coast guard said. Illegal fishing is common in the waters off Russia's Pacific coast, north and west of Japan.

The seizures came amid tension a week after the crew of a Russian patrol boat shot and killed a Japanese crab fisherman and seized three more, accusing their boat of trespassing in Russian waters near a group of islands held by Moscow but claimed by Tokyo.

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