SOUTH PADRE ISLAND Texas (ValleyCentral) — The U.S. Coast Guard seized 1,000 pounds of illegally caught shark after intercepting a lancha off the coast of South Texas on Sunday.
A boat crew from the Coast Guard’s South Padre Island station, with assistance from the Corpus Christi Sector and Air Station, stopped a lancha with four Mexican fishermen, a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard stated.
“Lanchas are frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the U.S. and illegally fish in the United States’ Exclusive Zone,” the release stated.
After stopping the boat, personnel seized 1,000 pounds of shark, fishing gear, radios GPS devices and high flyers. The fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agencies for processing, according to the release.
“Our interdiction of this lancha is a testament to the vigilance and dedication of our crews in enforcing marine conservation laws,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Rantuccio, executive officer of Station South Padre Island. “We will continue to actively monitor and combat illegal fishing activities to preserve the delicate balance of our marine ecosystems.”
The U.S. Coast Guard describes a lancha as a 20-30 foot long boat with a slender profile and one motor, capable of travelling at speeds more than 30 miles per hour.