SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



October 18, 2011
Tuesday AM

(SitNews) Dutch Harbor, Alaska - The U.S. Coast Guard transferred possession of the Bangun Perkasa to NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement Saturday evening at about 7 p.m., shortly after the vessel came to port in Dutch Harbor.

The illegal high-seas fishing vessel had undergone the prescribed rat abatement measures, and was cleared late last week to come to port.

After it was determined to be a stateless vessel, the Bangun Perkasa was seized by the Coast Guard about a month ago for high-seas drift net fishing more than 2,600 miles south west of Kodiak, Alaska.

The vessel had over 10 miles of drift net on board and was detected dragging over 2 nautical miles of drift net, a practice universally condemned for indiscriminately killing massive amounts of fish and marine life. The seizure highlighted international cooperative efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing—considered to be a serious threat to American fishing jobs and communities, as well as to the health of the world's oceans.

A Coast Guard cutter escorted the 140-foot vessel to 12 nautical miles off Unalaska Island, but could not allow it to moor in Dutch Harbor until the rat population aboard the vessel could be exterminated.

NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement will have the ship surveyed to determine the value of vessel as well as the catch product aboard – 30 tons of squid and 30 sharks.

NOAA, working with the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Anchorage, is seeking forfeiture of the vessel and its catch. Federal law stipulates a process where the owner has a reasonable time to come forward and claim the vessel. If the owner of the vessel does not come forward after due process is followed, all alternatives to dispose of the vessel will be considered to find the most effective course of action. This legal process needs to run its course before any decision regarding disposition of the vessel or catch can be made.

NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement continues its investigation into illegal fishing activities by this and any related vessels, as well as into those behind and profiting from this unlawful activity.

Once the investigation of the Bangun Perkasa's fishing activity is completed, NOAA will forward its findings to the U.S. Attorney's Office.



Sink Rat-Infested Pirate Fishing Vessel says Begich; Seized ship poses threat to seabirds, wildlife; should be scuttled - The Bangun Perkasa engaged in pirate fishing was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard on September 15, some 2,600 miles southwest of Kodiak with more than 10 miles of illegal driftnets on board. High seas driftnets have been banned globally since 1992 for their indiscriminate killing of fish, marine mammals and seabirds. The vessel also had 30 tons of squid in its holds and about 30 shark carcasses. Later brought to Dutch Harbor, the ship’s 22-member crew was brought to shore and remain in custody but the vessel remains anchored miles offshore because of an infestation of rats. - More...
Sitnews - October 05, 2011

Source of News: 

NOAA Fisheries in Alaska


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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