The U.S. Coast Guard arrested four Mexican fishermen who had crossed into American waters for illegally fishing earlier this week.
The arrest took place when the crew of the Amberjack, a USCG Cutter class vessel, spotted a “lancha,” or Mexican fishing boat, about 15 nautical miles north of the U.S. Mexico maritime border, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Coast Guard revealed.
The USCG vessel followed the “lancha” until the four fishermen stopped to set up their equipment at a spot about 18 miles north of the border and 33 miles off shore.
At that spot authorities apprehended the fishermen, seized the equipment, and took the men to South Padre Island for processing. The charges filed against the men were not available.
The seized items included two miles of illegal fishing line as well as 32 red snappers and 16 sharks. According to Coast Guard officials, 19 red snappers and eight sharks were alive at the time they were released.
“We have been very successful in discouraging lanchas from entering the Exclusive Economic Zone this year,” said Master Chief Petty Officer David Allen, the officer in charge of the Amberjack, in a prepared statement. “Today’s operation is an outstanding example of teamwork between several Units for another successful interdiction.”
Breitbart Texas’ Rob Milford reported in May that Congressman Randy Weber had introduced a bill to help crack down on illegal fishing by Mexican boats in American waters. The bill, H.R. 774, passed unanimously out of the House Natural Resources Committee but has not made its way to the House floor for approval. The bill was also sponsored by Texas Congressmen Blake Farenthold and Roger Williams.
According to stats provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, since October 1, 2014 there have been 210 incursions by illegal fishermen in which authorities have seized 1147 fish and 343 sharks as well as 89,45 yards of illegal fishing line.