Coast Guard Interdicts Lancha Crews Illegally Fishing U.S. Waters

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Multiple U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted three Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off the coast of southern Texas on April 6. 

Coast Guard crews consisting of air support, a small boat crew and a cutter stopped three lanchas about 50 miles north of the maritime boundary line where a total of 13 lanchamen were engaged in illegal fishing. About 12 miles of longline gear and illegal fishing equipment as well as 2,020 pounds of illegally caught red snapper were seized. 

“The Coast Guard’s continued commitment to protecting wildlife and deterring illegal fishing is highlighted in this case,” said Chief Warrant Officer Homar Barrera, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi command duty officer. “The teamwork between the command center and assets on scene resulted in the flawless execution of multiple interdictions.” 

A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is about 20 to 30 feet long with a slender profile, having one outboard motor and can travel at speeds exceeding 30 mph. Lanchas are frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the U.S. and illegally fish in the U.S. exclusive economic zone near the U.S./Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.