The ferry Taku loads up at the Prince Rupert, B.C., ferry terminal July 24, 2014. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

The ferry Taku loads up at the Prince Rupert, B.C., ferry terminal July 24, 2014. The Alaska Marine Highway could give it to another government agency. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

The Alaska Marine Highway wants to know whether any other government agencies want the ferry Taku.

It’s another step toward selling or scrapping the 350-foot-long ship, which has been tied up for about a year and a half.

Spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said the new owner would have to keep carrying passengers.

“The great example that I was given is, if you want to take the ferry and use it as a public ferry, that’s fine,” she said. “But if you wanted to use it as a private floating hotel that generated revenue, that would not fit the requirements for this step in the process.”

Municipalities and other government agencies have until Feb. 21 to declare their interest.

The state will put the Taku up for sale if no one responds.

Bailey said officials have not yet decided when or how it would be sold. There’s also no sale price yet.

She said it’s in good shape. But a new owner would need to pay for certificates and inspections to run it as a ferry.

“If somebody wanted to use it for something other than a fare-generating service carrying passengers, those certificates and inspections might not be need to be completed,” she said.

The 54-year-old Taku is in long-term storage at Ketchikan’s Ward Cove.

The marine highway has already taken one necessary step toward its sale: that’s getting permission to sell the ship from the Federal Highway Administration, a funding source.

The Taku used to sail Southeast waters, connecting the region’s communities with Prince Rupert, British Columbia. It carries up to 370 passengers and around 70 vehicles.