Coast Guard seizes 281 red snapper from lancha near South Padre Island, Texas

Two-hundred-and-eighty-one illegally caught northern red snapper are displayed for counting at Station South Padre Island Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

Two-hundred-and-eighty-one illegally caught northern red snapper are displayed for counting at Station South Padre Island Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Coast Guard boat crew seized 1,076 pounds of northern red snapper illegally caught by a Mexican fishing boat poaching in waters off South Padre Island early Thursday morning.

At approximately 2:40 a.m., Coast Guard South Padre Island boat crew members sighted a Mexican fishing boat with four people, near the maritime boundary line.

The lancha was stopped by the 33-foot boat crew who seized the 281 red snapper.

“We continue to see significant illegal fishing from Mexican fishing vessels. Illegal harvesting of large amounts of red snapper with extensive longline and gillnet operations at a significant cost have already depleted the gulf’s red snapper population,” said Capt. Tony Hahn, Coast Guard  Sector Corpus Christi commanding officer. “Our crews do an amazing job in incredibly challenging conditions to stop this illegal activity and maintain U.S. sovereignty.”

The four Mexican nationals were transferred to South Padre Island for processing.
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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