Istrian police on Wednesday seized an Italian fishing trawler sailing in Lim Bay due to illegal commercial fishing in Croatia's territorial waters.
Police officers of the national maritime centre for collecting data on technical systems for monitoring the state border at sea noticed on Wednesday at 12.48 p.m. that an Italian fishing trawler had entered the territorial waters of the Republic of Croatia at Lim Bay, the Istria County Police Department reported on Thursday.
A vessel from the Pula maritime and airport police station was immediately sent to the trawler, they said, and police officers started pursuing the Italian vessel, which did not respond to the calls.
In the exclusive economic zone at about 3 p.m., they stopped the trawler, which had tools in the sea and was engaged in commercial fishing, and issued a warning to stop further fishing and head towards the Pula port.
The seized Italian trawler sailed into the Pula port, accompanied by a police vessel, and its 45-year-old captain, as well as crew members aged 28, 49, 50 and 55, were arrested and a criminal investigation was conducted.
Due to the suspicion that they had violated the Schengen Borders Code and the Marine Fisheries Act, an indictment was filed against the five Italian citizens, and the court fined them HRK 2,000 each.
The captain of the trawler received a fine of HRK 7,000 and he has to pay HRK 17,000 as compensation for the damage to the biodiversity of the sea and for costs of using an official vessel.