The U.S. Coast Guard made a large catch Sunday when it arrested a Mexican crew with 450 illegally caught red snapper, officials said.
The interception of the boat started at 12:30 p.m., 30 miles offshore and about 70 miles north of the U.S. and Mexican border, the USCG reported in a news release.
A HU-25 Falcon jet crew spotted the 25-foot Mexican fishing boat, and a helicopter air crew from Corpus Christi responded and guided a 33-foot vessel from Station South Padre Island, which intercepted the fishermen at 2 p.m. about 33 miles north of the border as they attempted to flee into Mexican waters.
Officials said the fish were packed in ice, and the boat was towed to Station South Padre Island while the four fishing crew members were turned over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“It appears they stole the daily equivalent of approximately 225 licensed citizens, provided the fish were legal size,” Cmdr. Daniel Deptula said in a press release.
The red snapper fishing season opened last Sunday.