Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew, seizes 220 pounds of illegal fish off Texas coast

Published 1:49 pm Friday, October 7, 2022

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard interdicted a lancha crew and seized 220 pounds of illegally caught fish in federal waters off southern Texas, Thursday.

Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi command center watchstanders received a notification from a Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrew of a lancha crew engaged in illegal fishing approximately 5 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line.

A Coast Guard Station South Padre Island 33-foot Special Purpose Craft–Law Enforcement crew launched to intercept the lancha. The boat crew arrived on scene and subsequently seized 220 pounds of red snapper, illegal fishing gear and the lancha.

Coast Guard personnel detained the three fishermen and transferred them to border enforcement agents for processing.

“Station South Padre Island remains committed to the early detection and interdiction of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity, limiting the environmental and economic impact,” said Lt. Shane Gunderson, commanding officer, Station South Padre Island. “Boaters who witness illegal fishing activity are encouraged to make reports to the U.S. Coast Guard to assist in combating the illegal exploitation of the ocean’s fish stocks and protect our national interests.”

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.

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