New requirements for boaters crossing into Mexican waters
$23 dollar fee per passenger, online visa required
Last Updated: 48 days ago
SAN DIEGO - There are new requirements for boaters that will have the Mexican Navy taking a closer look at any vessels sailing through Mexican waters.
The new rules include an online application, similar to a visa, and a $23 per passenger fee that could mean fewer passengers and less revenue for the region's sports fishing industry.
10News attended a meeting hosted by the Mexican government. Local boaters and fishermen filled the room. All were concerned about the new requirements and had many questions.
Bill Davidson is the President of the San Diego Anglers Fishing Club. He said the new requirements could end up backfiring.
“I believe that a lot of people are not going to go to Mexico anymore to go fish,” said Davidson.
He said along with the permits for both countries, additional cost and applications could create problems.
“I believe their license fees are going to go way down because it’s just way too complicated to go down there and risk getting in trouble with the authorities, maybe losing your boat," he said. "We just want to fish.”
The Mexican Navy also attended the meeting. It will be in charge of patrolling Mexican waters and enforcing the new requirements.
Pat McDonell has hosted a Baja fishing tournament for the last ten years. He was forced to cancel this year’s event because of all the concern and confusion over the new Mexican requirements.
"People need to feel comfortable, I think this is just going to create one more layer of cost and concern and nobody really wants to be boarded by the Mexican Navy -- kids who are 16, 17, 18 years old pointing M1’s at them," said McDonell. "It’s very upsetting.”
There are 8,000 local recreational boaters and fisherman in San Diego County. Thousands more come here from around the world just for that. The new requirements could translate into millions of lost revenue for the region.
Davidson and other fishermen said the confusion ruins the idea of easy sailing.” We just want to fish, that’s all.”
For more information on the new application go to: www.inm.gob.mx
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