Thriving mafia

Published: Thursday 31 January 2002

the Russian mafia has been accused of practising illegal fishing in the western Bering Sea. In an investigative study by Trade record analysis of flora and fauna in commerce (traffic), it is claimed that fish poaching amounting to us $ 4 billion annually is being carried out by organised crime operators. This has put the marine species in peril and contributed to the collapse of the fishery.

The Bering Sea covers nearly one million square miles and supports vast populations of fish, shellfish, birds, and marine mammals.

The traffic study found that the catches were illegally transferred to Russian carrier vessels bound for ports in Japan, South Korea, China, Canada and the us. The study found that fish smugglers favoured the South Korean port of Pusan where the Russian vessels are not inspected regularly.

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