SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – The Coast Guard found 350 pounds of illegally caught red snapper on a boat off the South Texas coast over the weekend.
The U.S. Coast Guard Heartland said on Saturday, a crew intercepted a Mexican lancha, or fishing boat, about 15 miles away from shore and 37 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line.
They took three fishermen from Mexico into custody and seized the fish and illegal fishing gear. The boat was taken to South Padre Island, where it will be destroyed, the USCG said.
The fishermen were handed over to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. USCG said they planned on donating the fish to an aquarium.
“Illegal fishing threatens the security of our maritime border and the prosperity of our marine ecosystems,” Petty Officer 1st Class Samuel Hogan said in a news release. “We will continue working closely with our agency partners to minimize the negative impacts of illegal activities in federal waters.”
USCG described lanchas as slender fishing boats between 20 and 30 feet long that are often used to transport drugs or fish illegally. They can reach speeds of up to 30 mph.
To report illegal fishing out to 200 miles offshore, contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.