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Coast Guard retrieves nine miles of driftnet with 700 salmon

Posted: Friday, May 12, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Coast Guard has retrieved nine miles of illegal driftnet jettisoned by a Honduran-flagged vessel on the high seas south of Adak.

Two nets were retrieved by Wednesday afternoon. The Coast Guard cutter Sherman and a C-130 from Kodiak searched the area Thursday trying to locate another driftnet that was thought to be in the same area.

''We're unsure whether there is any more (net) or not,'' said Chief Petty Officer Paul Webb. ''The flights today (Thursday) didn't see anything.''

The nine miles of net contained 700 salmon, eight sharks, 50 puffins, 12 albatross, and a porpoise.

The U.S. is working with the Honduran government to seize the 177-foot Arctic Wind, Webb said

The Arctic Wind, owned by a South Korean company, was seized by the Coast Guard Monday. About a ton of processed salmon was found aboard, along with a crew of 25 Russian nationals.

The Arctic Wind was spotted May 1 about 600 miles south of Adak by a C-130 patrolling the area.

The Sherman was dispatched from Dutch Harbor two days later and located the Arctic Wind on Sunday. It was boarded Monday after a 27-hour chase.

The Coast Guard said the Arctic Wind made a number of evasive maneuvers trying to elude the cutter, at one point heading directly for the ship.

After the boarding, the Arctic Wind was taken back to the area to retrieve the illegal nets so they would stop catching fish and other sea life.



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