SPI Fisherman Says Ilegal Fishing Affecting His Business

Friday, September 30, 2011 - 9:52am

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND - Recently the Texas Parks and Wildlife says an illegal gill net was placed was in the water near Boca Chica beach. That net in the water resulted in the death of around 3,000 sharks.
Parks and Wildlife says a Mexican fisherman was responsible for the gill net and shark deaths.

"There pretty tight regulations on sharks the only one I know that is plentiful is the Atlantic Shark Nose, that's one per person,everything else is limited to one per boat per trip thats a lot of sharks taken out that don't need to be harvested that way."

Captain Michael Walker is a 13 year veteran fisherman. He runs a deep sea fishing business on South Padre Island. He says this isn't the only time he has heard of Mexican boats fishing illegally.

"We saw the Coast Guard towing in two boats in one day, and we asked the coast guard how many have you got this year, he says at least 30."

Walker says he has no problem with Mexican boats coming over to the US to fish as long as they follow all the rules. In June Walker says the US Coast Guard confiscated two boats that had 2,000-3,000 pounds of red snapper caught illegally.
Walker says some of his clients he takes out likes to catch red snapper, and those fish caught illegally have had an affect on his business, espicially since under fishing regulations Walker only gets 47 days out of the year to catch those red snapper.

"These areas that are pretty well known tend to be depleted a lot quicker than normal they are just wiping them out and we can go elsewhere but it sucks the old reliable spots are wiped out, it's more fuel and more bait, a lot more expense."

Walker says he hoping for the best in the future while he continues his deep sea fishing business.

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