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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast
Guard law enforcement crews interdicted 87 lanchas, seized 15,809
pounds of catch and detained 373 fishermen off the Texas coast during
fiscal year 2022.
first recorded lancha interdiction in the late 1980s, the Coast Guard
has seen a significant uptick in the detection of the vessels, recording
an 11.5 percent increase in interdicted lanchas from fiscal year 2021.
A noteworthy case
from this year occurred on Aug. 30, when Coast Guard crews interdicted
three lanchas with a total of 14 Mexican fishermen, 2,425 pounds of red
snapper and 440 pounds of shark aboard.
To counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, the Coast Guard utilizes a layered approach for operations through aircraft, small boats, and cutters.
Up to 27
million tons of fish are caught illegally each year throughout the
world. IUU fishing accounts for 20 to 30 percent of global annual catch.
Global losses from IUU fishing are estimated to be as much as $23.5
billion per year.
“We view the lancha issue
as an immediate threat to our living marine resources, border security,
and U.S. sovereignty," said Lt. Cmdr. Brendan Dunn, assistant chief of
enforcement, Coast Guard District Eight. "In recent years, the illegal
trade of red snapper, grouper, shark and other reef fish species has
become extremely lucrative for the transnational criminal organizations
operating in Mexico. With the continual increase of at-sea lancha
interdictions, we would like to recognize the tremendous efforts of our
field units at Coast Guard Sector and Air Station Corpus Christi,
Station South Padre Island, our fast response cutters and patrol boats.
We also thank our regional, state and federal partners for their
tenacious commitment, professionalism, and teamwork to support this
lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately
20-30 feet long with a slender profile. They typically have one
outboard motor and are capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30 mph.
Lanchas pose a major threat, usually entering the
United States Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S.-Mexico border in
the Gulf of Mexico with the intent to smuggle people, drugs, or poach
the United State's natural resources.
you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing out to 200 miles
offshore, please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.