Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, wants to get tough — real tough — on the pirates plying the coast of Alaska. The senator has asked the U.S. Coast Guard to use a rat-infested ship caught engaging in pirate fishing for target practice, The Washington Post’s Federal Eye blog
The Coast Guard seized the Bangun Perkasa, with a crew of 22, last month after it was found to be using illegal drift nets. Officials found 30 tons of squid and 30 shark carcasses aboard the vessel, which also was infested with rats in violation of state law, the Post reported.
The crew was taken to Anchorage for questioning, and the Coast Guard plans to kill the rats. Begich said in a letter to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp that sinking the ship would send a clear message that illegal pirate fishing is unacceptable.
“It will prevent this rust bucket from ending up back on the market where it most likely would only fall into the hands of some other pirate,” the Post quoted him as saying, adding that “using this hulk for gunnery practice could also demonstrate the firepower of the Coast Guard’s new National Security Cutters.”
The Coast Guard is considering Begich’s plan. Pirate fishing is a multibillion-dollar business that threatens the U.S. fishing industry, the Post reported.
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