Fishing boat boarded in drift net investigation

Posted: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

JUNEAU -- A 200-foot vessel owned by a South Korean company was stopped and boarded Monday by the Coast Guard after 19 days of surveillance for possible illegal high seas drift net fishing.

About a ton of processed salmon was found aboard the Arctic Wind, registered in San Lorenzo, Honduras, and investigators were trying to determine how and where the fish were caught, a Coast Guard spokesman said early Tuesday.

Disposition of the vessel and crew, consisting of 25 Russian nationals, remained undetermined pending the outcome of the probe, the spokesman said.

Fishing for salmon on the high seas is illegal because the fish are considered to belong to the country in the waters where they return to spawn.

A general moratorium on drift nets was imposed in 1992 by the United Nations. The devices are blamed for killing seals, dolphins, whales, sharks, turtles, diving birds and other sea creatures along with the fish they're used to catch.

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