Gill Fishing: More than 70 sharks found dead on beach, Coast Guard saves 50 more in offshore bust


Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Dozens of sharks were found dead in a mile-long gill net that washed ashore near Island Adventure Park on the north end of South Padre Island Monday. The U.S Coast Guard also interrupted the activities of gill net fishermen in two separate events this week, rescuing as many as 50 more sharks.

In a find that had social media abuzz Monday, local surfer Tommy J. Saenz posted several photos on Facebook of the washed up netting, which contained the carcasses of approximately 70 sharks along with several stingrays. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is investigating the incident.

Gill net fishing appears to increase during the winter months when currents shift, said Lt. Hans de Groot, public affairs officer for the U.S. Coast Guard – Sector Corpus Christi Thursday. “A lot of the stuff is drifting north,” he said.

Those nets come north from Mexican fishermen, some of whom attempt to illegally fish American waters. Indeed, the Coast Guard intercepted two such operations just this week.

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