In the snow crab case, 388 million euros are demanded from Norway – in Latvia

In the so-called Snow Crab cases, the fish farming company SIA “North Star LTD” demands 388 million euros from Norway to cover losses, according to information published by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Pēteris Pildegovičs, the owner of “North Star LTD”, confirmed to LETA that the amount of losses is currently estimated at 388 million euros and consists of both lost investments and unearned profit for a certain period of time. “The losses are significant and large,” Pildegovich added. He pointed out that the proceedings were pending, so it was not possible to comment further on their progress or the amount requested.

The owner of North Star LTD also reminded that the litigation is only for damages, it will not address the resumption of fishing.

It has already been reported that in August 2020, a court panel was set up at the International Investment Dispute Resolution Center in Washington to hear the so-called snow crab case.

The President of the Court is Christopher Greenwood, a United Kingdom national. The applicants are represented by Yves Fortier, a Canadian national, and the defendants are represented by Donald McRray, a Canadian and New Zealand dual national.

It was also reported that a complaint about Norway was submitted to arbitration by Pildegovich and his company “North Star LTD”, whose vessel was arrested by Norway while fishing in the waters near Svalbard.

The applicant claims that Norway has acted in breach of the Latvian-Norwegian agreement on the promotion and protection of mutual investment.

At the same time, it was reported that in early January 2017, the Norwegian authorities arrested the fishing vessel Senator, owned by the Latvian company North Star LTD, which, in accordance with previously concluded agreements, fished snow crabs in the waters of Svalbard (Spitsbergen).

Norway complained to the shipowner about the violation of fishing regulations, which the Latvian shipowner did not acknowledge, stating that snow crab fishing in Svalbard waters took place in accordance with the international agreement concluded in Paris in 1920, adopted in accordance with European Union (EU) regulation.

Following the incident, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted a note to the Norwegian Embassy requesting the release of the vessel, as well as not to interfere with fishing in accordance with an international agreement. Meanwhile, the Norwegian Ambassador to Latvia Steinar Eagle Hagen emphasized that Norway has the opportunity to license snow crab fishing on its continental shelf, because the EU and Latvia cannot issue such licenses without Norway’s knowledge.

In 2019, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled against Pildegovich and North Star LTD.

In its turn, the newspaper “Latvijas Avīze” reported in February last year that the EU General Court rejected Latvia’s claim regarding the protection of fishing rights in the snow crab fishing case.

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