Coast Guard Busts Red Snapper Poachers off Texas

   01.11.23

Coast Guard Busts Red Snapper Poachers off Texas

The Coast Guard interdicted five Mexican lancha crews in the federal Gulf waters off of Southern Texas last week. From the five boats, the Coast Guard seized 590 pounds of illegally caught red snapper. The Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boat crews and the Coast Guard Cutter Jacob Poroo crew worked in coordination with the Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders and the Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews. They all together located and stopped a total of five lanchas with a total of 22 Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing in US federal waters.

After the Coast Guard personnel interdicted the lanchas, they then went on board and seized 3 sharks,  590 pounds of red snapper, along with fishing gear, radios, GPS devices, and high flyers on board. The Coast Guard personnel detained the lancha crews and then transferred them to border enforcement agents for processing.

“Through our great collective efforts, we continue to detect and deter illegal fishing occurring in southern Texas waters,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Ortega, search and rescue coordinator, Sector Corpus Christi. “Our crews are always ready to protect U.S. waters from foreign intrusion and enforce domestic living marine resource laws.”

A lancha is an open-top fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is usually about 20-30 feet long with a slender profile. They typically have one outboard motor on the back and are capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30mph (26knots). Lancha boats are frequently used to smuggle illegal narcotics from Mexico to the United States as well as being used to illegally fish in the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S./Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing out to 200 miles offshore, please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.

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Fishing Writer for AllOutdoor.com An avid angler since I was little, based out of the South East United States.

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