"Riga will appeal to the European Court of Justice with a lawsuit against the European Commission regarding the Latvian Senator fishing vessel arrested in Norway," Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis told LETA following a government meeting.
The Cabinet has listened to a report prepared by the Ministry of Justice, which proposed steps to resolve the situation, and decided that by mid-May the lawsuit should be prepared and submitted to the European Court of Justice. The Latvian government claims that the EC does not protect interests of Latvian fishermen. "The permission for fishing is given to our fishermen by the European Commission, therefore it should take measures to help resolve this issue," Kučinskis explained.
As EADaily reported earlier, the Latvian Senator fishing vessel, catching snow crabs in the waters of Spitsbergen, was detained by the Norwegian authorities in early January 2017. After the incident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia handed over to Norway a note with a demand to release the vessel, as well as not to obstruct fishing, which is carried out in accordance with an international agreement.
Norway offered to exchange quotas with the European Union, so that EU vessels could obtain licenses for legal catch of snow crab on the continental shelf of this state. Norway still believes that snow crab fishing has been illegal, as neither the EU nor Latvia has the right to grant licenses for its catch without Oslo's consent. The Latvian Senator vessel did not have such a license, therefore its actions in Norway are considered illegal.