The Coast Guard interdicted a lancha crew and seized approximately 1,000 pounds of illegally caught shark in waters subject to U.S. law enforcement off southern Texas, Sunday.
A Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boat crew, in coordination with Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders and Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews, located and stopped a lancha with four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing.
After interdicting the lancha, Coast Guard personnel seized approximately 1,000 pounds of shark, 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.
“Our interdiction of this lancha is a testament to the vigilance and dedication of our crews in enforcing marine conservation laws,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Rantuccio, executive officer of Station South Padre Island. “We will continue to actively monitor and combat illegal fishing activities to preserve the delicate balance of our marine ecosystems.”
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.