Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew illegally fishing in US

Coast Guard law enforcement crews interdicts a Mexican lancha boat crew engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Dec. 19, 2017. The lancha, with fishing gear onboard, was seized, and the Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard law enforcement crews interdicts a Mexican lancha boat crew engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Dec. 19, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

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

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

“Red snapper and other fish populations are steadily being depleted by the illegal fishing along the U.S./Mexico maritime border,” said Cmdr. Keith Pierre, the chief of response at Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “Protection of these fish species will remain one of our top priorities.”

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, 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 140 lanchas, 30 of which were interdicted, that were north of the U.S./Mexico Maritime Border in 2017.

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 361-939-0450.

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