Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew illegally fishing US waters
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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted a Mexican lancha boat crew engaged in illegally fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Thursday afternoon.

Coast Guard crews stopped one lancha with a total of four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. Longline gear, 20 sharks and 60 red snapper fish were identified onboard the lancha prior to it sinking. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

“Illegal fishing by Mexican lanchas poses significant harmful impacts to the sustainment of the red snapper species in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone,” said Capt. Tony Hahn, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi commander. “We will continue to aggressively work to deter and interdict all illicit maritime activity while protecting and preserving U.S. sovereignty.”  

A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, typically has 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 fish illegally in the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S.-Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has detected 66 lanchas, 18 of which were interdicted, that were north of the U.S.-Mexico Maritime Border since Oct. 1, 2017.

If you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing in state waters (out to 9 miles offshore), please contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s “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 361-939-6393.

-USCG-

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