CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (KTRK) -- A lancha boat crew was stopped and seized of 40 sharks that were illegally captured in federal waters off southern Texas, according to the Coast Guard.
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On Tuesday, officials responded to a report about four fishermen engaging in illegal fishing aboard a lancha boat about seven miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line.
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Edgar Culbertson said they launched a 26-foot over-the-horizon cutter boat crew and seized illegal fishing equipment and 40 sharks were found on board the lancha.
Coast Guard personnel reportedly detained the four fishermen and transferred them to border enforcement agents for processing.
A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20 to 30 feet long with a slender profile. It has one outboard motor, and is capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30 mph.
Lanchas are frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the U.S. and illegally fish in the United States' Exclusive Economic Zone near the U.S.-Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.
If you witness suspicious activity or illegal fishing in state waters (out to nine miles offshore), you are urged to contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's "Operation Game Thief" at 1-800-792-GAME (4263).
For all suspicious activity or illegal fishing occurring in federal waters (out to 200 miles offshore), please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-0450.