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Press Release | April 17, 2024

Coast Guard interdicts lancha, seizes 440 pounds of illegally caught fish off Texas coast

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


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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard interdicted a lancha and seized 440 pounds of illegally caught fish in federal waters off southern Texas Tuesday.

A Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boat crew, in coordination with Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews, located and stopped four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing aboard a lancha approximately 12 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line.

A Coast Guard Station South Padre Island 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew interdicted the lancha, which began rapidly taking on water once stopped. The boat crew embarked the fishermen to ensure their safety.

Additionally, Coast Guard personnel seized 440 pounds of red snapper, one shark, fishing gear and high flyers found on board the vessel. Coast Guard crews detained the Mexican fishermen, brought them ashore and transferred the detainees to U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel for further processing.

"The Coast Guard, along with our Department of Homeland Security, state and local partners, is dedicated to protecting the natural resources in our sovereign waters," said Capt. Hans Govertsen, commanding officer, Air Station Corpus Christi. "All partners have been working in concert to identify, track and interdict illegal fishing ventures that originate in Mexico with the support of transnational criminal organizations. If it were not for the dedicated women and men of Station South Padre Island, Air and Marine Operations, and Texas Parks and Wildlife, we would not be able to protect our precious natural resources from these illegal fishermen."

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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