Crew of seized fishing vessel to be deported

Becky BohrerAssociated Press
The crew of the Bangun Perkasa, a stateless fishing vessel suspected of illegal large-scale high-seas drift net fishing, tend their fishing nets prior to a Coast Guard law enforcement boarding conducted by the Kodiak-based Coast Guard Cutter Munro Sept. 7, 2011. The U.S. Coast Guard actively participates in the international cooperative efforts against large-scale high-seas drift net fishing as encouraged by the United Nations moratorium.

The crew of a vessel that was seized about 2,600 miles southwest of Kodiak after being suspected of illegal fishing is being deported.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice says the 22 crew members are being held at a detention facility outside Seattle while arrangements are made to return them to their home nations. She didn't know how long that process would take.

She says 10 of the crew members are from Vietnam, seven are from Indonesia, four are from China and one is from Taiwan.

The Coast Guard seized the Bangun Perkasa Sept. 7 after a report that the ship was fishing illegally with a drift net. A Coast Guard spokeswoman has said the crew initially claimed the vessel was from Indonesia but that authorities in Indonesia didn't claim it.

Associated Press