Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew illegally fishing in U.S.

200 pounds of Red Snapper seized from Mexican fisherman illegally fishing on November 17, 2014.

200 pounds of Red Snapper seized November 17, 2014 from Mexican fisherman who were illegally fishing.

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

Coast Guard crews stopped one lancha with a total of five Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lancha, with 200 lb of red snapper and fishing gear onboard, was seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for processing.

“Red snapper and other scarce fish species are being depleted by the lancha fishermen’s persistent illegal fishing,” said Cmdr. Keith Pierre, chief of response at Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “We will continue to protect our limited natural resources and maintain our sovereignty along the U.S./Mexico maritime boundary line.”

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.

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has detected 15 lanchas, five of which were interdicted, 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 361-939-0450.

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