A boat crew from Coast Guard Station South Padre Island intercepted a Mexican lancha carrying approximately 110 pounds of fish illegally caught in U.S. waters, Friday.
A Coast Guard boat crew from Station South Padre Island spotted a 30-foot lancha approximately 32 miles offshore and 6 miles in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.
Once on scene, the boat crew made contact with the lancha and discovered more than 100 fish, long-line gear and fresh baited hooks aboard the vessel. The Mexican crew admitted to fishing in U.S. waters.
The boat was towed to Station South Padre Island and the four Mexican crew members were transferred to Customs and Border Protection.
"It's not uncommon to see hundreds of pounds of illegal fish caught by these lancha boats," said Cmdr. Daniel Deptula, the response officer for Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi "In this case they had already caught some and were prepared to fish for awhile, but we interdicted them early in their voyage."
"The Coast Guard works closely with NOAA, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Customs and Border Protection to protect the vital marine resources of South Texas from illegal fishing," said Deptula.
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 at 1-800-792-GAME (4263).