Coast Guard interdicts lancha crews illegally fishing off southern Texas

Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted two Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters, Oct. 6, 2017, off southern Texas. The lanchas, with fishing gear onboard, were 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 detected and interdicted two Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters, Oct. 6, 2017, off southern Texas.  U.S. Coast Guard photo

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

The Coast Guard crews stopped two lanchas with a total of 10 Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lanchas, with fishing gear onboard, were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

“We will continue to staunchly protect our exclusive economic zone and maintain our sovereignty,” said Cmdr. Keith Pierre, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “It is absolutely critical that we prevent this natural resource from being depleted.”

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.

Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has detected and interdicted two lanchas that were north of the U.S./Mexico Maritime Border since Oct. 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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