SOCHI, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - An oceanarium in the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi has launched legal proceedings against local Customs officials over the death of 4,000 exotic fish from China, oceanarium head Amin Azzam said.
On Tuesday, Azzam said that 4,000 exotic tropical fish brought from China for the Sochi Discovery World oceanarium had died after being kept at Customs at Sochi Airport for some 14 hours in hot weather. The fish were worth a total of $480,000, he said.
Azzam said he had never seen "living creatures tormented in such a way."
He also said all the documents for the fish were in good order, but Customs officials argued a freight declaration was missing. They also said the oceanarium had not paid Customs duties. Azzam denied the claim.
The Sochi Discovery World oceanarium is scheduled to open during the VIII International Investment Forum Sochi-2009, which runs from August 17 to September 11.
Sochi is the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics.