Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew observed illegally fishing in US waters

33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement file photo

33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement file photo

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews interdicted a lancha boat crew that was observed illegally fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Wednesday.

A Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi aircrew located five fishermen engaged in illegal fishing aboard a lancha approximately 2 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line. A Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boat crew subsequently seized two sharks, four red snappers, illegal fishing equipment and the lancha, then transferred the fishermen to border enforcement agents for processing.

“This marks the 40th Mexican lancha interdiction we have carried out since October of 2021,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason Cross, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi enforcement department. “We will continue to coordinate our efforts with state and federal agencies to put a stop to illegal poaching and preserve our natural resources for future generations of Americans to enjoy.”

A lancha is a 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 and transport narcotics illegally in the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S./Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing in state waters (from land to 9 miles offshore), please contact “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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