By RACHEL D'ORO
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A vessel suspected of illegal driftnet fishing on the high seas has been transferred to China by the U.S. Coast Guard.
A Coast Guard cutter encountered the 177-foot fishing ship about 850 miles east of Tokyo last week. Coast Guard personnel boarded the ship and found 30 metric tons of albacore tuna and 6 metric tons of shark bodies and fins on board. Coast Guard officials also said that Chinese citizens were operating the vessel, called the Da Cheng.
Coast Guard Admiral Robert J. Papp last week said the crew had been fishing with an illegal 8-mile driftnet. Such snares have been banned internationally since 1992.
Coast Guard officials say they turned the Da Cheng over to the China Fishery Law Enforcement Command on Tuesday.