NOAA takes control of 'pirate' ship seized for drift netting

The Anchorage Daily NewsOctober 17, 2011 

An illegal high seas drift net fishing boat that a U.S. senator called a "pirate" ship has been turned over to a federal law enforcement office, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Coast Guard seized the ship Sept. 15 about 2,600 miles southwest of Kodiak with more than 10 miles of illegal driftnets on board.

Authorities initially said it was rat infested but a contractor hired to eradicate the rodents said earlier this month that there weren't that many aboard. State law forbids ships with rats to enter Alaska waters.

The rats were trapped or poisoned and late last week the 140-foot Bangun Perkasa was cleared to come to port in Dutch Harbor, NOAA said Sunday in a written statement. The vessel is considered stateless, according to the Coast Guard and NOAA.

Saturday evening, shortly after the Bangun Perkasa docked in Dutch Harbor, the Coast Guard transferred possession to NOAA's law enforcement office.

The office will have the ship surveyed to determine its value as well as the value of the 30 tons of squid and 30 shark carcasses in its holds, NOAA said.

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