US Coast Guard's Fishing Operation 13 Fishermen Arrested, 2,160 Pounds of Illegal Fish Taken Out of Circulation

US Coast Guard’s Fishing Operation: 13 Fishermen Arrested, 2,160 Pounds of Illegal Fish Taken Out of Circulation

The U.S. Coast Guard Heartland made its second intervention in a month, intercepting more lanchas and confiscating additional red snapper for illegal fishing.

A news release from the agency on Friday, February 23, reported the seizure of 2,160 pounds of illegally caught fish in federal waters off the Southern Texas Gulf.

On Thursday, February 22, Coast Guard officials detected and halted three lanchas with a total of 13 fishermen engaging in illegal fishing north of the Maritime Boundary Line.

Following the interception, authorities confiscated over 2,000 red snapper, along with fishing gear and high flyers found on board the vessels.

The Coast Guard crews apprehended the fishermen involved in illegal fishing and handed them over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel for further processing.

The teams involved in the operation included those from the Coast Guard Station South Padre Island, the Coast Guard Cutter Jacob Poroo, and the Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews.

Described by the Coast Guard as boats approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, lanchas are commonly used by fishermen to transport illegal narcotics and fish from the Gulf of Mexico to the U.S.

This incident marked the second seizure of fish in the month, following the confiscation of over 1,000 pounds of fish on lanchas in the Texas Gulf on February 13.

Additionally, December 2023 saw increased activity for the Coast Guard in combating illegal fishing, with nearly 3,000 pounds of red snapper seized on board five lanchas in the Texas Gulf on December 9, 2023.

From two stops on that day, the crews obtained approximately 2,640 pounds of illegally caught red snapper, detaining 20 fishermen engaged in illegal activity.

For those witnessing suspicious activity or illegal fishing up to 200 miles offshore, the U.S. Coast Guard encourages reporting at 361-939-0450.