After a high speed chase, Texas game wardens seized a shark boat from Mexico this past Tuesday, Feb. 10.
In a case where more horsepower made all the difference, Texas game wardens finally apprehended one of the growing number of illegal fishing boats operating in U.S. waters off of the coast ofTexas. The problem of illegal fishing in U.S. waters has been growing rapidly in recent years, and on Tuesday, at least, the good guys won.
The illegal boat was operated by a 75 horsepower outboard motor. The wardens had an advantage in their 29-foot Safe Boat which boasts twin 250 horsepower. Even then, the illegal fishermen opted to try and run for it.
When they were spotted by the Texas game wardens, the fishermen quickly turned around and started racing back toward Mexican waters. The wardens were able to quickly overtake the boat and stop it.
The two illegal fishermen were arrested and taken to the U.S. Coast Guard station on South Padre Island for processing. Their boat along with illegal long line fishing gear was seized.
These illegal fishing boats have been more numerous in recent years. The illegal fishermen often target sharks as the market for shark meat, especially the demand for shark fins for shark fin soup, continues to sky rocket.
Anyone in coastal Texas waters that spots foreign fishing boats, gill nets or long lines is urged to call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-792GAME (4263), contact a game warden or notify the U.S. Coast Guard.