The Coast Guard interdicted five lancha crews and seized 590 pounds of illegally caught fish in federal waters off southern Texas last Thursday.
Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boat crews and the Coast Guard Cutter Jacob Poroo crew, in coordination with Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders and Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi air crews, located and stopped five lanchas with a total of 22 Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing.
After interdicting the lanchas, Coast Guard personnel seized 3 sharks and 590 pounds of red snapper, along with fishing gear, radios, GPS devices and high flyers on board. Coast Guard crews detained the Mexican fishermen and transferred them to border enforcement agents for processing.
“Through our great collective efforts, we continue to detect and deter illegal fishing occurring in southern Texas waters,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Ortega, search and rescue coordinator, Sector Corpus Christi. “Our crews are always ready to protect U.S. waters from foreign intrusion and enforce domestic living marine resource laws.”
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 out to 200 miles offshore, please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.