Authorities from the Coast Guard spotted three boats shrimping in the closed waters about 90 miles from Galveston. The crews were forced to give up their catch, which was giving to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Port Arthur to sell for about $85,000.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department closes Gulf Coast shrimping each year in state waters to allow the shrimp to grow to a more valuable size and to protect over fishing of the species.
NMFS extends the Texas closure beyond state waters and out to 200 nautical miles.
"Working with our partners, like the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Coast Guard will continue to enforce laws that protect and support the fishing industry," Capt. Ed Cubanski, incident management branch chief for the 8th Coast Guard District, said in a prepare statement. "This $24 billion industry is one of our nation's largest natural resources and vital to our economy."
The Coast Guard forwarded the evidence package for this seizure to NMFS, which will formally investigate to determine whether the vessel's violated the shrimping closure.