SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS (KVEO) - A Mexican boat poaching fish in U.S. waters off South Texas was seized Saturday, after it was spotted by a Coast Guard aircraft and intercepted by a boat crew from Station South Padre Island. The lancha was one of five spotted in the area.
At approximately 4:00 p.m., a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon aircrew spotted five lanchas fishing north of the U.S. and Mexico maritime border inside the Exclusive Economic Zone.
A law enforcement boat crew from Station South Padre Island was dispatched to investigate the report. Once on scene the Coast Guard crew spotted a lancha near the reported position and interdicted them 16 miles north of the border with 48 dead red snapper on board. No pursuit was initiated.
The five Mexican nationals aboard the lancha were brought back to Station South Padre Island where they were turned over to Customs and Border Protection for release to Mexican law enforcement officials. The catch was disposed of at sea.
If you witness suspicious or illegal fishing in state waters (out to 9 miles offshore), please contact Texas Parks & Wildlife “Operation Game Thief” at 1-800-792-GAME (4263).
For all suspicious or illegal fishing occurring in federal waters (out to 200 miles offshore), please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-6393.