Coast Guard seizes more than 4,500 lbs of fish, shark from lancha crews illegally fishing
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted three Mexican lancha boat crews illegally fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Wednesday afternoon.
Coast Guard crews stopped three lanchas with a combined 13 Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. A total of 3,533 lbs of red snapper and 1,122 lbs of shark was onboard the lanchas. The lancha boats, with fishing gear onboard, were seized.
The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.
A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, typically has one outboard motor and is capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30 mph. Lanchas are frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the U.S. and fish illegally in the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S.-Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.
Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has interdicted 16 lanchas north of the U.S.-Mexico Maritime Border in the month of February and 43 lanchas since Oct. 1, 2018.
If you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing in state waters (out to nine miles offshore), please contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s “Operation Game Thief” at 1-800-792-GAME (4263). For all suspicious activity or illegal fishing occurring in federal waters (out to 200 miles offshore), please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.
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