Norwegian reefer carrier avoids detention over ‘illegal’ cargo

Authorities appear to be playing a ‘cat and mouse’ game with a Norwegian cargo ship laden with 5 500 tons of frozen fish that was allegedly illegally caught by Russian trawlers off the coast of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

The Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) at the end of January requested port authorities to detain the Green Glacier – which was due to dock in Cape Town.

The request went out to Cape Town’s harbour master and local authorities to inspect the on-board cargo after the WSRW had observed the trawlers loading fish that had apparently been caught in SADR waters. The vessel however remained stationary in South African waters for several hours before turning around and setting course for Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

South African authorities extended the detaining order to neighbouring countries and not long after the ship arrived in the Ivorian capital it headed to neighbouring Ghana. It is currently in the Gulf of Guinea.

Owned by refrigerated liner company Green Reefers, it was originally destined for New Zealand.

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