Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew, seizes 600 pounds of illegal fish off Texas coast

Published 10:32 am Saturday, June 18, 2022

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard interdicted a lancha boat crew and seized 600 pounds of illegally caught fish in federal waters off southern Texas, Friday.

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station 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 9 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Daniel Tarr launched a 26-foot over-the-horizon cutter boat crew and seized illegal fishing equipment and 600 pounds of red snapper found on board the lancha. Coast Guard personnel detained the four fishermen and transferred them to border enforcement agents for processing.

“The U.S. Coast Guard has been the lead agency in the United States for at-sea enforcement of living marine resource laws for more than 150 years,” said Chief Petty Officer Richard Godsey, command duty officer, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “We will continue to combat destabilizing effects of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in order to preserve our natural resources for future generations.”

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.

For more information follow us on Facebook and Twitter.