Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew illegally fishing in U.S.

Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted a Mexican lancha boat crew engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Sept. 16, 2017. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted a Mexican lancha boat crew engaged in illegal fishing in U.S.  waters off southern Texas, Sept. 16, 2017. . U.S. Coast Guard photo

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

The lancha, with fishing gear onboard, was seized. Four Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

“The persistent illegal fishing of red snapper and other fish in the Gulf of Mexico is having a very detrimental economic and environmental impact,” said Cmdr. Keith Pierre, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “We will continue to enforce the law along 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 mph, 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.

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has detected 144 lanchas, 31 of which were interdicted, that were north of the U.S./Mexico Maritime Border since Oct. 1, 2016.

If you witness suspicious activity 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 activity 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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