Aug 09 2012
Illegal High Seas Driftnetter Crew Awaiting Fate
Thursday, 09 August 2012

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            A U.S. Coast Guard cutter has chased an illegal high-seas driftnetter across the Pacific Ocean and is now awaiting orders on what to do with the ship and crew.

            The Hawaii-based cutter Rush was patrolling Alaska waters when it came across the stateless vessel last week.

            Coast Guard Admiral Robert Papp says crew from the 378-foot cutter Rush are onboard.

 

-- (Rush 1                    23 sec              "We have a boarding team ... States for prosecution as well.")

 

            Papp says the ship was fishing with high-seas driftnets, which have been banned internationally for 20 years.

 

-- (Rush 2                    17 sec              "They put eight-miles of net ... I would call this ‘fishing piracy.'")

 

            Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, who chaired the senate subcommittee hearing in Kodiak where Papp spoke, was aghast at the scale of the illegal fishing, and urged the admiral to punish everyone involved.

 

-- (Rush 3                    26 sec              "I hope we're filing charges ... going on here in these waters.")

 

            Paul Niemeier (NEE'-my-er) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says high seas driftnets target salmon, tuna and squid but catch everything in their paths, including marine mammals, seabirds and other fish.

 

 

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