Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew illegally fishing in US

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

Tuesday morning, Coast Guard crews stopped a lancha with four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lancha, 43 red snapper totaling 547 pounds, 117 sharks totaling 666 pounds, five other fish totaling 22 pounds, and fishing gear were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

“The illegal fishing of red snapper causes over 11 million dollars in lost revenue each year to U.S commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Cmdr. Keith Pierre, the Chief of Response at Coast Guard Sector / Air Station Corpus Christi. “Deterring illegal fishing and other illicit activity near the U.S./Mexico maritime boundary line is one of our top priorities.”

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 U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S./Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has detected 101 lanchas and interdicted 28 lanchas engaged in illegal fishing north of the U.S./Mexico Maritime Border since October 1, 2016.

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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