Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew illegally fishing US waters

Coast Guard law enforcement crews interdict a lancha boat with five Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Jan. 25, 2018. The lancha, along with two sharks and 18 red snapper fish, was seized. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard law enforcement crews interdict a lancha boat with five Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Jan. 25, 2018.  (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, Jan. 25, 2018.

Coast Guard crews stopped one lancha with a total of five Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lancha, two sharks and 18 red snapper fish, were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

“The success of the mission was only made possible by the continued collaborative efforts of state and federal agencies,” said Cmdr. Keith Pierre, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi. “We will continue our collaborative efforts to end illegal poaching in U.S. waters.”

A lancha is a Mexican fishing boat 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 detected 27 lanchas, 17 of which were interdicted, that were north of the U.S./Mexico Maritime Border since Sept. 1, 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 361-939-6393.

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