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#Flagless - Coast Guard: Significant amount of rats must be removed from boat seized for illegal fishing

Flag of Indonesia (bordered)Image via WikipediaPosted: October 2, 2011 - 12:06am


ANCHORAGE — A significant population of rats must be removed from a vessel seized for illegal fishing before it will be allowed to dock in Alaska, the Coast Guard said Saturday.

The Guard’s staff in Juneau was working on the logistics of getting the 22 crew members off the Bangun Perkasa and dealing with the rats, spokeswoman Sara Francis said. A state law prevents ships with rats from entering Alaska waters.

The boat was seized as a stateless vessel on Sept. 7 for allegedly violating U.S. laws over drift net fishing. When the Coast Guard boarded the ship about 2,600 miles southwest of Kodiak, they retrieved a 10-mile net and found 30 tons of squid and 30 shark carcasses on board, she said.

It also didn’t have a valid flag state registration, but the ship’s crew initially claimed Indonesia as their flag state.

“When we contacted Indonesia, they said, ‘Nope, not ours,’” Francis said. “They became flagless at that point, and that’s when we seized them.”

Although the Coast Guard stops...