Coast Guard Station Freeport seizes 488 red snapper illegally caught off Texas coast

Coast Guard crews boarded a recreational fishing boat and found coolers containing 488 red snapper that were caught illegally in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, March 26, 2016. Working with NOAA Fisheries and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials, the catch of about 1,900 pounds was seized. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard crews boarded a recreational fishing boat and found coolers containing 488 red snapper that were caught illegally in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, March 26, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

HOUSTON — Coast Guard crews stopped a recreational boat with approximately 1,900 pounds of red snapper Saturday, which was illegally caught in the Gulf of Mexico off Freeport and Galveston.

During a routine boarding, a Coast Guard Station Freeport 29-foot response boat crew discovered numerous coolers containing red snapper. The recreational fishing season for red snapper is closed until the month of June. When fishing for the snapper is open, only four fish per person are allowed. The purpose of fishing regulations is to promote conservation and management measures in order to prevent overfishing and protect our natural resources.

The Coast Guard worked closely with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the National Marine Fisheries Service to process the seizure.

The Station Freeport boat crew escorted the boat, driven by the operator, to Station Freeport for secure storage throughout the evening. The following day, the fish were offloaded at a local fish house and the boat was returned to the registered owner, per federal regulations for illegal fishing.

“I was proud to be part of the crew involved in this joint effort between the Coast Guard, Texas Parks and Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries Service to help put a stop to illegal fishing in our area of responsibility,” said a Coast Guard petty officer who assisted in the boarding.

An investigation into the illegal catch of fish is ongoing.

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