CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Mexican fishing crew hauled in 220-pounds of fish caught illegally in U.S. federal waters last week offshore South Padre Island, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Authorities seized red snapper, illegal fishing gear and the fishing crew’s boat. Three fishermen were detained and turned over to Customs and Border Protection enforcement agents for processing, the Coast Guard stated.
On Oct. 6, the U.S. Coast Guard interdicted the lancha after an aircrew spotted the crew fishing approximately 5 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line.
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,” the Coast Guard said.
To report suspicious activity or illegal fishing out to 200 miles offshore, call the U.S. Coast Guard at (361) 939-0450.