Coast Guard catches 14 fisherman illegally fishing US waters

About 440-pounds of shark, 2,425-pounds of red snapper found onboard boats

Coast Guard interdicts 3 crews illegally fishing US waters. (U.S. Coast Guard)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Coast Guard law enforcement crews caught 14 fishermen engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off the southern Texas coast on Tuesday.

According to a news release, the three lancha boats were filled with approximately 440 pounds of shark and 2,425 pounds of red snapper, along with fishing gear, radios, GPS devices, and high flyers.

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,” the news release said. “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.”

Coast Guard crews detained the Mexican fishermen and are transferring them to border enforcement agents for processing.

“Working collaboratively with our federal, state, and local partners, we continue to detect and deter illegal fishing occurring in the U. S. Exclusive Economic Zone,” said the chief of response, Coast Guard District 8. Capt. Kristi Luttrell. “Successfully protecting our limited marine resources requires a whole-of-government approach, and these successful cases illustrate our commitment to that effort.”

If you see illegal fishing 200 miles offshore, you can contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.

About the Author:

Emily Ramirez is a Digital Producer trainee for KSAT 12. She has written and photographed for several magazines and newspapers, including San Antonio Magazine, Austin Monthly and the San Antonio Current. A proud San Antonio native and graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, she is now completing her M.A. at UTSA.