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22 Illegal fishermen caught off Corpus Christi coast

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 19:06:12-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Five lancha boats containing 22 fisherman were seized off the Corpus Christi coast on Sunday.

Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews, Coast Guard Station South Padre Island boat crews, Coast Guard Cutter Jacob Poroo, Customs and Border Protection Agency Air, and Marine Operations and Homeland Security Investigations personnel interdicted five lanchas with a total of 22 Mexican fishermen.

“We protect our at-risk fish populations every day of the year to ensure they are sustainable,” said Lt. Karl Alejandre, a pilot at Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “Illegal fishing was stopped today as a direct result of the dedication and teamwork of Coast Guard surface, air, and shore personnel, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

An estimated 6,186 pounds of illegal fish were taken by officials. The fishermen were detained and transferred to border agents.

According to the Coast Guard, "A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, having one outboard motor, and capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30 mph."

Suspicious activity or illegal fishing in state waters (out to 9 miles offshore) should be reported to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s “Operation Game Thief” at 1-800-792-GAME (4263). For all suspicious activity or illegal fishing occurring in federal waters (out to 200 miles offshore), please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.