HARLINGTON, Texas, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Texas authorities say 2,000 to 3,000 juvenile sharks have been killed in an illegal gill net set in state waters by Mexican fishermen.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens pulled in approximately 3 miles of illegal net just offshore of South Padre Island, KGBT-TV, Harlington, reported Tuesday.
"This is by far the most sharks I have ever gotten in one load," Sgt. James Dunks said. "Myself and my deck hand have been working on this boat for 15 years and have never seen this many sharks in one net."
Sharks worldwide are threatened by overfishing, increasingly targeted to supply a demand for shark meat and fins for shark fin soup.
"We have here probably 2 to 3 miles of gill net that was placed in our waters about 4 miles north of the Mexico border right off the beach," Dunks said. "Unbelievable amount of sharks, anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 black tips, bonnet heads and sharp nose shark in here right now."
The Mexican nationals who placed the illegal net in Texas waters were not apprehended.
"It is all we can do," Dunks said. "They get over here in a matter of 2 minutes and be back in Mexico in a matter of 2 minutes … The guys we have caught in the past have flat told us that there are no more fish over there and that is why they are coming over here."