Four Mexican fishermen were busted off the coast of Texas while they were illegally fishing for sharks, said the US Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard received a tip Tuesday from Customs and Border Protection personnel that a Mexican fishing boat, known as a lancha, was illegally fishing in US waters near Corpus Christi.
When the Coast Guard crew arrived, the Mexican boat was about 7 miles north of the Maritime Boundary Line. Once US sailors boarded the Mexican boat, they found a pile of sharks, which cannot be legally fished in Texas.
Forty of the animals were seized and the four fishermen were turned over to US Customs and Border Protection.
Authorities did not say what was intended to be done with the 40 sharks seized in the this week’s bust. But shark fins are considered a delicacy by some and served in fin soup — although they are illegal to serve in Texas due to the cruelty inflicted on the fish.
More than 400 shark fins were found inside a Texas restaurant in April. Whole sharks, as well as frozen fins, were found in the San Antonio restaurant after it was raided by Texas Game Wardens.
According to the Coast Guard, lanchas are “frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the US and illegally fish in the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone.”