Coast Guard interdicts 2 lancha crews illegally fishing in US

A lancha boat floats in South Padre Island, Texas after being seized by Coast Guard law enforcement crews on Mar. 27, 2017.

A lancha boat floats in South Padre Island, Texas after being seized by Coast Guard law enforcement crews on Mar. 27, 2017.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegally fishing in federal waters off southern Texas.

Saturday evening, Coast Guard crews stopped a lancha with four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lancha and fishing gear were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

Monday morning, Coast Guard crews stopped another lancha with four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lancha and fishing gear were also seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to Mexican officials.

“We are fully committed to protecting our valuable living marine resources in U.S. waters,” said Cmdr. Keith Pierre, the chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi. “One of our top priorities is to deter illegal fishing and other illicit activity that occurs nearby the U.S./Mexico maritime boundary line.

A lancha is a Mexican fishing boat that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, typically has one outboard motor, is capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30 miles per hour, and is frequently used to fish illegally in the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S./Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you witness suspicious or illegal fishing in state waters (out to 9 miles offshore), please contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s “Operation Game Thief” at 1-800-792-GAME (4263). For all suspicious or illegal fishing occurring in federal waters (out to 200 miles offshore), please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-6393.

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