The United State Coast Guard detained a Chinese fishing vessel suspected of illegal fishing in international waters in the Pacific Ocean, 860 miles east of Hokkaido, Japan. 

The Chinese-flagged fishing vessel Run Da was spotted by a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130 on a multi-national fisheries enforcement patrol. 

The crew of the Kodiak-homeported Alex Haley cutter conducted a joint international boarding with officers from the People's Republic of China Coast Guard.

The fishing vessel is suspected of violating the worldwide driftnet moratorium called for the by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/215. 

The USCG says the captain of the vessel admitted to fishing with driftnets, and investigators on the joint boarding team discovered one ton of squid and 80 tons of chum salmon on board. A driftnet measuring approximately 5.6 miles was also found on board the vessel, according to the USCG. 

USCGC Alex Haley (WMEC 39) and People's Republic of China Coast Guard crew members uncover an approximately 5.6-mile drift net onboard the Run Da during a joint boarding of the vessel in the North Pacific Ocean, 860 miles east of Hokkaido, Japan.

The Alex Haley crew transferred custody of the Run Da and its crew Thursday to PRC Coast Guard vessel 2301 in the Sea of Japan. The PRC vessel will escort the Run Da back to China for prosecution, as the PRC has jurisdiction for any enforcement actions taken upon the vessel, master and owner. 

“The U.S. Coast Guard is committed to preserving the world’s fragile marine ecosystems, not only to ensure economic prosperity today but to ensure thriving oceans for future generations,” said Capt. Darran McLenon, chief of response for the 17th Coast Guard District. “This case was the first apprehension of a large-scale, high seas driftnet vessel since 2014 and highlights the successful fisheries enforcement cooperation and patrols of the U.S., Canada, China, Japan, Russia and the Republic of Korea, including the force multiplying value of shiprider agreements, which enables joint high seas boarding and inspections to detect and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.”

The 105-member crew of the Alex Haley are on a North Pacific multi-national fisheries enforcement patrol supported by Canada, China, Japan, Russia and the Republic of Korea. The crew conducts homeland security, search and rescue and international and domestic fisheries enforcement missions in the Bering Sea and other Alaskan waters.

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