Dakar - Senegalese authorities say they have released a Russian boat that was caught fishing illegally off the coast of the West African nation.
Fisheries Minister Ali Haidar said late on Wednesday that the vessel was allowed to leave after the Russian ship owner paid a fine of 600 million West African francs ($1.26m), which he said was placed into the public treasury.
The boat had been found near the border between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau on 5 January and had been escorted to the port in Dakar.
The Russian ship owner had accused the environmental group Greenpeace of having been behind Senegal's seizure.
Illegal fishing is rampant in West Africa, depleting fish populations and threatening local industries. Regional governments have recently sought help from the United States and European navies.