Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew, seizes 350 pounds of illegal fish off Texas coast

Published 7:06 am Monday, January 9, 2023

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard interdicted a lancha crew and seized 350 pounds of illegally caught fish Saturday in federal waters off southern Texas.

Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi command center watchstanders received a notification from the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Dailey (manning Coast Guard Cutter Jacob Poroo) of three fishermen engaged in illegal fishing aboard a lancha approximately 37 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line.

The crew of the Benjamin Dailey launched a 26-foot over-the-horizon cutter boat crew to intercept the lancha. The boat crew arrived on scene and subsequently seized 350 pounds of red snapper, illegal fishing gear and the lancha.

Coast Guard personnel detained the fishermen, brought them ashore and transferred the men to Customs and Border Protection agents for processing.

“Illegal fishing threatens the security of our maritime border and the prosperity of our marine ecosystems,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Samuel Hogan, living marine resources boarding officer, Cutter Benjamin Dailey. “We will continue working closely with our agency partners to minimize the negative impacts of illegal activities in federal waters.”

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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