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

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted three Mexican lancha boat crews illegally fishing in federal waters off southern Texas on Feb. 27, the Coast Guard 8th District said in a release.

Coast Guard crews stopped three lanchas with a combined 13 Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. A total of 3,533 pounds of red snapper and 1,122 pounds of shark was onboard the lanchas. The lancha boats, with fishing gear onboard, were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

A lancha is a slender fishing boat that is 20 to 30 feet long, typically has one outboard motor and is capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30 mph. Lanchas are frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the U.S. and fish illegally in the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S.-Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has interdicted 16 lanchas north of the U.S.-Mexico Maritime Border in the month of February and 43 lanchas since Oct. 1, 2018.