Korean trawler seized, accused of fishing in U.S. zone

Posted: Thursday, September 07, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Coast Guard has detained another Asian fishing vessel accused of illegally fishing in the U.S. zone in the Bering Sea, officials say.

The 170-foot Korean trawler was fishing illegally more than a quarter of a mile inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone Tuesday night, according to the Coast Guard.

The Kum Kang San was boarded at 7:30 p.m. after a short chase into the Russian zone by the Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley.

The U.S. vessel radioed the Korean ship and ordered it to stop when it was spotted fishing more than 500 yards inside the U.S. zone, officials said. But instead, the vessel hauled in its nets and crossed to the Russian zone.

The ship halted a short time later when the cutter pursued.

A boarding party was dispatched, and its officers verified by the Korean vessel's own navigation system that it had been fishing inside the U.S. zone, the Coast Guard said.

The boarders didn't find any fish, however.

The Korean ship had 43 crewmen aboard, plus a Russian fisheries observer.

The Korean vessel was being escorted to Dutch Harbor. It was expected to arrive there on Saturday.

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