Río Lagartos – Naval and Conapesca authorities were able to arrest a group of 20 poachers who were out at sea catching species that were off-limits.
It was the Community Fisheries Surveillance Committee and the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) who managed to discover and arrest a group of fishermen while they were fishing illegally.
For several days, Rio Lagartos inspectors and fishermen had detected the presence of suspicious vessels in the area.
Alerted by this tip-off, both institutions joined in an operation to effectively address the problem.
Once at sea, members of the Community Fisheries Surveillance Committee and CONAPESCA sighted several vessels involved in illegal activities.
These poachers were using pitchforks and were catching protected species during the closed season, such as octopus, lobster and grouper, among others.
When the poachers became aware of the authorities’ presence, they tried to escape, but only one boat was successfully intercepted. Four community and Conapesca boats blocked their path, preventing their escape.
In a desperate attempt to get rid of the incriminating evidence, the fishermen threw a compressor, part of their fishing equipment and some of the species they had caught into the water.
This attempt confirmed the seriousness of their infraction and their determination to avoid capture.
After a discussion that lasted several minutes, the poachers were taken to Río Lagartos, where their diving equipment, boat and illegally caught species, including grouper and lobster, among others, were seized.
An administrative report documenting the incident was also issued.
This event has generated concern among the fishermen of Río Lagartos and San Felipe, who fear that poachers will continue to invade their territory, especially as the sea cucumber and lobster fishing seasons are about to begin.
It is important to note that many of these offenders have been armed on previous occasions.
In view of this situation, the local fishermen asked the Navy and the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) for their support to reinforce surveillance and guarantee the protection of fishing resources.