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Japan to pay Russia over $31 mln for salmon fishing rights

MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) - Japan will pay over $31 million to Russia for the right to catch salmon in Russian waters in 2008, Russia's fishing regulator said on Monday.

"Japan has agreed to buy a [salmon] quota for 9,735 metric tons, for which Japanese organizations will pay Russia ... over $31 million," the Russian State Fisheries Committee said in a news release.

This year 43 Japanese vessels will handle salmon fishing in Russian waters at the price of $3 per 1 kg of salmon, a small increase from last year's price.

Russia and Japan have also negotiated a kelp harvesting deal. Japan is to purchase the right to harvest 3,920 metric tons of kelp, down by 560 metric tons against last year. A Hokkaido-based fishing association will also pay around $900,000 to Russia for the harvesting of kelp in 2008.

Confrontations over poaching between Russian authorities and Japanese fishing vessels are frequent in Russia's Pacific waters. In August 2006, a Japanese fisherman was shot dead near the Kuril Islands when Russian border guards opened fire at his boat after it refused to stop.

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