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Press Release | April 25, 2024

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

Coast Guard PADET Texas - Office: (281) 464-4810 / After Hours: (832) 293-1293

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

A Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boat crew in coordination with Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watch standers, and Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews, located and stopped four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing north of the Maritime Boundary Line.

After interdicting the lanchas, Coast Guard personnel seized 350 pounds of red snapper, along with fishing gear and highflyers on board the vessels. Coast Guard crews detained the men, brought them ashore and transferred the detainees to U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel for further processing.

The seized fish will be split and donated to the Harte Institute to support Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing research and Sea Turtle Inc. to help feed and rehabilitate turtles.

A lancha is a fishing boat used by 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 Texas state waters (from land to 9 miles offshore), please contact “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.

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