Coast Guard interdicts two Mexican lanchas illegally fishing in US

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

Coast Guard crews stopped a lancha with four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing Thursday morning. The lancha had 20 sharks totaling 157 pounds aboard the vessel. A second lancha with three Mexican fishermen was stopped Oct. 27, 2018, with two Amberjack fish weighing 67 pounds. The equipment and fishermen from both lanchas 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 and transport narcotics 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 three lanchas north of the U.S./Mexico Maritime Border since Oct. 1, 2018.

If you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing in state waters (from land 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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