USCG Interdicts Record Number of Illegal Fishing Boats

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted three Mexican lancha boat crews illegally fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Monday afternoon.

Coast Guard crews stopped three lanchas with a total of 14 Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. Three 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 fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, 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 detected 55 lanchas, 42 of which were interdicted, that were north of the U.S.-Mexico Maritime Border since Oct. 1, 2018.