CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -

A Coast Guard crew patrolling in the Gulf of Mexico off South Padre Island has found an illegal net containing dozens of dead sharks.

A Coast Guard statement Tuesday says the mile-long gill net was found Monday afternoon loaded with 65 dead sharks about 20 miles off South Padre Island and about 37 miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border. All of the sharks were badly decomposed.

Gill nets are illegal throughout Texas, and Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jason Brand described the nets as "the wall of death." He says such fishing methods already have depleted Mexican fisheries, causing fishing crews to move into U.S. waters in search of fish.