The Coast Guard interdicted a lancha boat crew and seized 40 illegally caught sharks in federal waters off southern Texas, Tuesday.
Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi command center watchstanders received a notification from U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel of four fishermen engaged in illegal fishing aboard a lancha approximately 7 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line.
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Edgar Culbertson launched a 26-foot over-the-horizon cutter boat crew and seized illegal fishing equipment and 40 sharks found on board the lancha. Coast Guard personnel detained the four fishermen and transferred them 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, 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), 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.