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JUNEAU - The Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell transferred custody of the suspected high-seas drift net fishing vessel, Lu Rong Yu 6007, to the Chinese Fisheries Law Enforcement Command on Thursday.
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The Boutwell, under the tactical control of the 17th Coast Guard District headquartered in Juneau, made the transfer approximately 300 miles northeast of Tokyo, Japan, the Coast Guard said in a press release.
The 120-foot Lu Rong Yu 6007 is suspected of illegal high-seas drift net fishing 500 miles east of Hokkaido, Japan.
Each law enforcement vessel sailed for four days to reach a rendezvous point where Boutwell's boat transported Chinese law enforcement officials from their cutter to the suspect vessel. U.S. and Chinese officers exchanged information and evidence in the case.
According to the commanding officer of the Boutwell, Capt. Peter J. Brown, the transfer of the fishing vessel is an example of international cooperation in maritime security and law enforcement.
A Chinese official will continue to sail with Boutwell for the remainder of this patrol as part of a multi-national effort to combat illegal fishing in the international waters of the North Pacific Ocean.