Friday, May 24, 2013
Begich to Coast Guard: Fire Away at Illegal Pirate Fishing Ship
Sen. Mark Begich says Coast Guard should blow up the Bangun Perkasa, a ship caught illegally fishing and with rats on board.
Sen. Mark Begich says the U.S. Coast Guard should sink a ship it caught fishing illegally in international waters.
The Coast Guard says the “Bangun Perkasa” was boarded by the Cutter USS Monroe about 2,00 miles southwest of Kodiak.
The ship was spotted from the air illegally fishing with gillnets.
When the crew realized they had been caught, the Coast Guard says crewmembers began trying to dump the nets and gear overboard and steam away from the scene.
All eight crewmembers have been detained by Customs and Boarder Protection agents and will be interviewed in Anchorage.
As for the ship itself, it is said to be infested with rats -and by law- cannot be brought to an Alaska port until the pests are eliminated.
Magone Marine, a salvage company, has been asked to kill off the rats and make repairs to the boat so it can be brought to Dutch Harbor, but Sen. Begich says he has a better idea.
The senator wants the Coast Guard to tow the boat far offshore and sink it, as a warning to other illegal fishermen.
The Coast Guard says it is appreciative of the senator’s support, but that it can’t blow the ship up for a variety of reasons.
Instead, the boat will be turned over to officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for further investigation.