Coast Guard hires contractor to clear seized ship of rats

JUNEAU -- A Dutch Harbor company has been hired to get rid of the rats on a ship whose crew is accused of illegal fishing.

Magone Marine also has been asked to make necessary repairs to the Bangun Perkasa to ensure the ship complies with state and federal laws before it's moved into Dutch Harbor. Magone Marine also is to maintain the refrigeration to keep the 30 tons of squid authorities said they found on board from spoiling.

The Coast Guard announced the contract Wednesday. Work is expected to take up to 10 days.

The Coast Guard seized the vessel Sept. 7, about 2,600 miles southwest of Kodiak, after a report that the vessel was fishing illegally with a drift net.

NOAA Fisheries will decide ultimately what to do with the vessel and its catch.

Associated Press