Coast Guard interdicts lancha crews illegally fishing US waters

Coast Guard law enforcement crews count the catch of two Mexican lancha boat crews illegally fishing in federal waters off southern Texas at Station South Padre Island in South Padre Island, Texas. A total of 430 lbs. of red snapper was onboard the lanchas. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station South Padre Island.

Coast Guard law enforcement crews count the catch of two Mexican lancha boat crews illegally fishing in federal waters off southern Texas at Station South Padre Island in South Padre Island, Texas.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station South Padre Island.

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

A Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrew in coordination with the crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Jacob Paroo and Coast Guard Station South Padre Island located and stopped two lanchas with a combined nine Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. A total of 430 lbs of red snapper was onboard the lanchas. The lancha boats, with fishing gear onboard, were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, typically has 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 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 65 lanchas north of the U.S.-Mexico Maritime Border since Jan. 1, 2019.

If you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing in state waters (out to nine 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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