The U.S. Coast Guard caught over a dozen fisherman from Mexico illegally fishing off the coast of southern Texas Monday.
Coast Guard crews interdicted three Mexican lancha boat crews with thirteen lanchamen engaged in illegal fishing. Coast Guard crews consisting of air support, a small boat crew, and a cutter stopped the boats approximately 50 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line. Twelve miles of longline gear, illegal fishing equipment, as well as 2,020 lbs of illegally-caught Red Snapper were seized.
“The Coast Guard’s continued commitment to protecting wildlife and deterring illegal fishing is highlighted in this case,” said Chief Warrant Officer Homar Barrera, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi command duty officer. “The teamwork between the command center and assets on scene resulted in the flawless execution of multiple interdictions.”
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 border in the Gulf of Mexico.
If you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing in state waters (out to 9 miles offshore), 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), contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.