Posted: Jan 9, 2013 6:39 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2013 7:30 PM
CAMERON COUNTY - State game wardens say they will take a different approach when dealing with boats confiscated from Mexican poachers.
"The boats, we'll seize them and we are going to destroy them," Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden James Dunks said.
Officials have reported an increase in poaching in Texas waters of the Gulf of Mexico. They said depleted resources south of the international boundary line are pushing Mexican fishermen to venture north to set their miles-long gill nets.
"We are trying to take these boats out of circulation rather than putting them up for bids for sale. Then they'll get sold back to Mexico. Then we wind up catching them again," Dunks said.
Dunks said illegal catches will be sold or donated to organizations like Sea Turtle Inc., where they can be used to feed the animals at the refuge.
Game wardens confiscated nearly 200,000 feet of gill nets and long lines in 2012. Those nets caught more than 6,000 sharks and thousands of other fish.
"They've depleted their resources down to the point where they want to come deplete our resources. Now, it's our job to stop them. Of course, they are doing all they can to get away. Their entire livelihood is that catch, that boat and that gear," Dunks said.