According to the consulate-general of Japan in Vladivostok,” All 10 crew members of a Japanese crab fishing boat arrest by Russian authorities in late January were released Friday, and now they are returning home.
The release came after the captain of the Nishino Maru No. 68 from the western Japan prefecture of Shimane admitted to fishing illegally in Russia’s exclusive economic zone.
The crew members have no health problems and the boat will return to its home port in the city of Sakaiminato on Sunday afternoon, according to Japanese officials.
Russian authorities claimed the illegal fishing caused economic damage of at least 39 million rubles ($592,000) and filed a complaint with a court calling for an administrative measure.
The boat’s operator has paid a bond equivalent to the amount.
“I had been worried about their mental condition, but now I’m relieved,” Hitoshi Furuki, secretary general of their crab fishing union in the prefecture, told reporters.
The boat was seized in the Sea of Japan and taken to Nakhodka in the Russian Far East on Jan. 30, after it left its home port on Jan. 26.
Russian border security authorities have said they found 7.5 tons of crab on the boat.