CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Coast Guard interdicted a Mexican fishing crew poaching Friday in South Texas.
At approximately 3:45 p.m. on a routine patrol, a Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boatcrew aboard a 33-foot law enforcement boat sighted a 20-foot Mexican fishing boat, also known as a lancha. Once spotted, the lancha ceased movement and was intercepted 19 miles offshore and 2 miles north of the maritime border with four people aboard.
"So far this year we have had a record number of sightings and seizures, mostly with large amounts of red snapper on board. And they target many of our popular recreational fishing spots like oil rigs and reefs," said Cmdr. Daniel Deptula, the response officer of Sector Corpus Christi.
The lancha was actively fishing without a legal permit and had caught 130 red snapper in U.S. waters. The red snapper were all dead and packed in ice. The lancha was towed back to Station South Padre Island and the four crewmembers were turned over to Customs and Border Protection.
If you witness suspicious or illegal fishing in state waters (out to 9 miles offshore), please contact Texas Parks & Wildlife “Operation Game Thief” at 1-800-792-GAME (4263). For all suspicious or illegal fishing occurring in federal waters (out to 200 miles offshore), please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-6393.
For additional information about the case, please contact Ltjg. Margaret Kratz at 361-438-0176.