CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a Mexican crew near South Padre Island after the fishermen were spotted illegally fishing in U.S. federal waters.
On Tuesday, a Coast Guard Air Station crew from the Corpus Christi station saw four fishermen illegally fishing in a lancha about one mile north of Maritime Boundary Line, offshore of the Rio Grande Valley.
The Coast Guard describes a lancha as a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, 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 illegally fish in the United States,” the Coast Guard stated.
When crews made contact with the fishermen, they seized 66 pounds of red snapper, fishing gear, a GPS and the lancha.
The fishermen were detained by Coast Guard personnel and brought back to shore where they were transferred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“Illegal fishing undermines our nation’s sovereignty, threatens our economic security and harms the sustainability of living marine resources,” Kenneth Naranjo, command duty officer, Sector Corpus Christi, said. “Combating illegal fishing continues to be a vital mission for our Coast Guard and partner agency crews throughout southern Texas.”