The Coast Guard, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted Operation Reel-It-In Aug. 4-7, 2020, along the southern Texas coastal region.
The goal of the operation was to promote the safety of charter vessel operations and enforce applicable regulations to uninspected passenger vessels.
During the operation, Coast Guard, TP&W, and NOAA special agents deployed air, land, and sea assets from Port O’Connor to South Padre Island, Texas, out to 30 miles from shore in order to detect, identify, and interdict illegal charter vessel activities as well as assist in identifying federal and state fishing violations.
Over the course of the 4-day operation, 92 law enforcement boardings were conducted resulting in successfully identifying:
- One captain operating uninspected passenger vessel without proper documentation
- 47 fisheries violations, each referred for federal prosecution
- Four vessels with safety violations
- Three vessel voyages terminated
- 57 vessels were checked at marinas, 20 were found not in compliance with federal requirements
- One mexican commercial fishing lancha was seized for operating in Texas state waters
“If you are a mariner seeking additional information on Coast Guard requirements or a passenger with questions regarding a charter vessel trip, please feel free to contact Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi,” said Chief Warrant Officer Ashley Wells. “Also, if you know of or suspect any illegal fishing charters, please contact the Coast Guard.”