JUNEAU -- New legislation would allow the Coast Guard to blow up vessels seized for illegal fishing.
The measure from Sen. Mark Begich and Rep. Don Young follows the Coast Guard's seizure of a ship suspected of illegal fishing in September. A federal judge must sign off on disposition of that ship.
The measure provides options for dealing with seized vessels in the future, including letting the Coast Guard sink them in live-fire training exercises. For that to happen, fuel, fishing gear and other potential debris would have to be removed, and the ship sunk more than 50 miles offshore in water over a mile deep.
Seized ships also could be scrapped; transferred to developing nations for fisheries patrol and enforcement; or given to government or nonprofits for training, education or research.