Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew illegally fishing US waters

A cooler containing illegally caught snapper sits aboard a Mexican lancha boat moored at Coast Guard Station South Padre Island after being seized by Coast Guard law enforcement crews Sep. 6, 2018. The lancha had 23 illegal snapper aboard the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station South Padre Island.

A cooler containing illegally caught snapper sits aboard a Mexican lancha boat moored at Coast Guard Station South Padre Island after being seized by Coast Guard law enforcement crews Sep. 6, 2018.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station South Padre Island.

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

Coast Guard crews stopped a lancha with four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lancha had 23 snapper aboard the vessel. The Mexican fishermen and equipment were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

A lancha is a Mexican fishing boat approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile. Typically the lancha 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 interdicted 58 lanchas 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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