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US releases 191-foot boat to China after illegal salmon fishing

The U.S. Coast Guard has turned over to its Chinese counterpart a 191-foot fishing boat suspected of catching half a ton of salmon with illegal drift nets in the North Pacific.

U.S. personnel boarded the Yin Yuan May 27. The vessel was released Tuesday to the China Coast Guard in the East China Sea.

A Canadian CP-140 maritime patrol aircraft on May 22 spotted the Yin Yuan in the North Pacific and reported it carrying equipment associated high seas drift fishing.

High seas drift net fishing kills huge amounts of fish, birds and marine mammals with nets suspended for miles.

The U.S. cutter Morgenthau intercepted the Yin Yuan five days later. The Coast Guard says the captain acknowledged throwing drift nets overboard before it was intercepted.

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