SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX — The Coast Guard interdicted a Mexican fishing crew attempting to poach red snapper in South Texas Saturday night.
At approximately 7 p.m. Saturday, the crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Amberjack sighted a Mexican fishing boat, also known as a lancha, heading north in U.S. waters.
Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders, diverted a Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boatcrew aboard a 33-foot law enforcement boat and launched an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Corpus Christi. The aircrew provided coverage while the Amberjack vectored in the boatcrew, who stopped the lancha with four people and fishing gear aboard approximately 50 miles north of the maritime border.
The Amberjack put the lancha in tow and returned back to Station South Padre Island. All persons and confiscated gear were turned over to Customs and Border Protection.
“This interdiction was in a location where the Mexican fishing boat could maximize their red snapper catch," said Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Allen, chief of law enforcement for Sector Corpus Christi. “We achieved the best outcome possible by stopping the Mexican fishing boat before they could illegally catch any fish or shark.”
If you witness suspicious or illegal fishing in state waters (out to 9 miles offshore), please contact Texas Parks and 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.