ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The owner of a South Korean fishing boat has agreed to pay a $250,000 fine for illegally trawling for pollock inside United States waters in the Bering Sea.
U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland approved the settlement Monday.
The Coast Guard seized the boat after a search plane spotted in on Nov. 10 fishing about 400 yards inside U.S. waters northwest of St. Paul Island. The boat's crew was escorted to Dutch Harbor and detained pending the settlement.
The No. 7 Man Jeok's home port is in Pusan, South Korea. The vessel, operated by the Man Jeok Corp., got a break because the crew didn't flee from the Coast Guard, said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Barkeley.
The vessel was the third case of illegal fishing in the Bering Sea this year. The Coast Guard regularly patrols the boundary to make sure dozens of vessels from Russia and other countries stay on the Russian side, where they can buy rights to fish legally.
U.S. authorities have hit past violators with much steeper fines. Last year, another South Korean boat, the Orchid, paid a $750,000 settlement.
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