October 05, 2011
Rat-Infested Boat Caught 'Pirate Fishing' in US Waters
By Chad Love
So what do you do with a rat-infested fishing boat caught illegally drift-netting and plundering our coastal waters? According to one U.S. senator, we should let the Coast Guard use it for target practice.
From this story on abcnews.com:
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich on Tuesday called on the Coast Guard to sink a stateless, rat-infested vessel accused of illegal fishing. In a letter to the Coast Guard's commandant, Begich said sinking the Bangun Perkasa would send a clear signal that "pirate" fishing is unacceptable to the United States, and won't be tolerated.
"...The Coast Guard seized the vessel Sept. 7, about 2,600 miles southwest of Kodiak, after receiving a report that the vessel was fishing illegally with a drift net. The crew initially claimed the ship was from Indonesia, but Francis said Indonesian officials denied that. Authorities reported finding 30 tons of squid and 30 shark carcasses on board.
They also found evidence of rats. State law prevents ships with rats from entering Alaska waters. The vessel was brought three miles off Dutch Harbor Sunday. On Monday, the 22 crew members were removed and flown to Anchorage, where federal authorities planned to question them. Francis said rat eradication efforts have since gotten under way. Plans call for using traps and poison. Sinking the boat would keep "the rust bucket from ending up back on the market where it most likely will fall into the hands of some other pirate," Begich said.
Using it for "gunnery practice" would also demonstrate the firepower of the Coast Guard's National Security cutters, he said.
What say you, FN readers? Send it to the bottom?