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City Council Closer To Designating Funds For F/V Akutan Removal

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ZOË SOBEL/KUCB
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The state has taken possession of a derelict vessel anchored in Captains Bay and Tuesday night, the Unalaska City Council moved one step closer to helping pay for its removal.

The F/V Akutan was abandoned in September following a disastrous fishing season in Bristol Bay — in which the ship’s owner went broke, the crew went unpaid, and its 158,000 haul of salmon was declared unfit for human consumption.

Clark Cox works for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

He says no qualified bidders expressed interest in the custom processor — meaning the ship is now in the state’s hands.

“At this time, we are still working with the Coast Guard on disposal options for the vessel," Cox said. "When that’ll take place, there are just a lot of variables to work with on that — local conditions, availability, and that kind of stuff.”

Cox says there is no timeline for when the boat will move out of Unalaska waters, but the most likely option is an expedient disposal at sea.

DNR is looking for partners  to share in that cost.

Interim City Manager Nancy Peterson says the state has requested $36,000 from Unalaska, but she recommends the council shell out a little less, $31,400, for removal towing and ammunition.

Councilors will vote whether to approve the expenditure at their next meeting on Feb. 13. 

Zoë Sobel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2019. She returned to KUCB after a year living in Nepal and Malaysia as a Luce Scholar. She then returned to KUCB as a ProPublica reporter August of 2020 through August of 2021.
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