By LAUREN N. LAUGHLIN
Special to the PRESS
Law Enforcement crews from US Coast Guard Station South Padre Island intercepted two Mexican vessels fishing illegally in US fishing waters Wednesday.
Both Mexican vessels and approximately 15,000 feet of deployed longline gear were seized. The six crew members from both fishing vessels were turned over to US Border Patrol for release to Mexican law enforcement officials.
Shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, a HU- 25 Falcon jet aircraft from USCG Air Station Corpus Christi spotted the Mexican vessels, known as “lanchas”, retrieving longline gear north of the US/Mexico maritime border inside the US Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) where only US fisherman can legally fish.
A law enforcement boat crew from Station South Padre launched immediately upon notification to investigate the report. Once on scene, the coast guard crew spotted a lancha near the reported position collecting fishing gear illegally placed in US fishing waters. The Coast Guard boat briefly gave chase to the lancha, which fled upon being spotted, before the operator complied with orders to stop.
To see this story in print, pick up a copy of the Aug. 25 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here.