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Press Release | March 7, 2024

Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department interdict 4 lanchas, seize 1,250 pounds of illegal fish

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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Texas Game Wardens interdicted four lancha crews and seized approximately 1,250 pounds of illegally caught red snapper in waters subject to U.S. law enforcement off southern Texas, Tuesday.

Boat crews from Coast Guard Station South Padre Island, CBP Air and Marine Operations and TPWD, in coordination with Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews, located and stopped a total of 19 Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing aboard lanchas north of the Maritime Boundary Line.

After interdicting the lanchas, Coast Guard personnel seized 220 pounds of red snapper in addition to fishing gear and high flyers on board the vessels. Coast Guard crews detained the Mexican fishermen, brought them ashore and transferred the crews to CBP personnel for further processing.

"Combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is crucial to safeguarding our valuable resources and protecting the delicate marine environment," said Chief Petty Officer Glenn Jimenez, command duty officer at Sector Corpus Christi. "We will continue to collaborate closely with our local, state, federal and international partners to ensure the sustainability of our waters and put a stop to these illicit activities."

"Texas Game Wardens are proud of the partnerships we have with agencies like the United States Coast Guard and U.S. Custom and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations," said Captain Game Warden Chris Dowdy. "Working together as agencies is what makes wins like this possible. We appreciate the help of our local, state and national partners in conserving Texas' natural resources."

A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a low profile, an 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 caught 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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