Coast Guard interdicts lancha crews illegally fishing in US waters

U.S. Coast Guard file photo of a lancha moored to a pier after being seized by Coast Guard law enforcement crews in southern Texas.

U.S. Coast Guard file photo of a lancha moored to a pier after being seized by Coast Guard law enforcement crews in southern Texas.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted four Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off the coast of southern Texas Friday.

Coast Guard crews consisting of air support and four boat crews interdicted two lanchas with 9 fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. Approximately 100 lbs of red snapper and shark were seized.

A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, having one outboard motor, and is capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30 mph. Lanchas are frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the U.S. and illegally fish in the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S./Mexico board in the Gulf of Mexico.

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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