AUSTIN – Texas game wardens have seized a Mexican shark-fishing boat in state waters near the Texas-Mexico border.
Wardens were patrolling the Gulf of Mexico earlier today for illegal fishing activity when they spotted a Mexican fishing boat moving northbound in Texas waters.
When the wardens, who were operating a 29-foot Safe Boat equipped with twin 250-horsepower motors, attempted to stop the boat its occupants ignored the state vessel and began racing back toward Mexican waters. After a brief pursuit, the wardens were able to pull along the boat and get it stopped.
Two fishermen were arrested and taken to the US Coast Guard station on South Padre Island. The open boat, powered by a 75 horsepower outboard motor, was seized along with illegal long-line fishing gear.
Cases are pending.
Sharks, the most common target of these vessels, are harvested not only for their meat, but also for their fins. Shark fins, used for soup, are considered some of the world’s most expensive seafood and high demand for it supports a world-wide black market.
Marine interests spotting foreign fishing boats, gill nets or long lines in Texas waters are urged to call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-792GAME (4263), contact a game warden or notify the U.S. Coast Guard.