Coast Guard interdicts lancha crews illegally fishing US waters

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 Tuesday.

Coast Guard crews consisting of air support and four boat crews interdicted four lanchas with 19 fishermen engaged in illegal fishing and seized approximately 3,000 lbs of red snapper and 11 sharks.

“The interdictions tonight were a stellar display of teamwork by all of our assets,” said Chief Petty Officer Christian Vega, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi command duty officer. “We are proud to remain vigilant against illegal fishing practices in our South Texas waters.”

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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