Paper Work Now Required For Fishing

Listen up because the Mexican Navy is no longer being Mr. Nice Guy
BY: BEN DOVER

Its not like there’s a fence out there in the ocean, drawing a line between Mexico and the United States. So, seems like fishermen can be forgiven if they stray a little over the line, as they fish out of San Diego. But the Mexican feds don’t see it that way and they’re cracking down on sportsfisherpeople by boarding boats, snooping around, checking passports, tourist permits, fishing permits and any other document hunt they can come up with.

Up until now, violating fisherpeople have got off with just a warning and told to turn around and get the hell out of Mexico. Well, we paraphrase.

 But now Mexico has given fair warning that those carefree days are over and you had better pay attention to just who’s fish you’re reeling in. They even mention towing boats to Ensenada for an administrative process and immediate deportation of the crew and passengers. Well, look on the bright side: deportation is preferable to incarceration. Although you won’t face criminal charges, María de los Remedios, honcha at the Mexican Consulate in San Diego promises, “it will be an inconvenience.” That sounds ominous.

The warning is being issued through Mexican consulates and has been picked up by the U.S. consulate as well. They are characterizing it as the Mexican Navy and immigration authorities, “strengthening their presence in Mexican waters.”

Whoa there, American fisherperson reeling in Mexican fish! The Mexican Navy is no longer playing Mr. Nice Guy and looking the other way. They will hunt you down and check your paper work, so you best have it up to snuff. According to Mexico’s federal government, 40,000 to 50,000 tourist vessels cross into Mexico each year, many for fishing but others for other activities such as racing or cruising. And although fishing permits have always been required, the federal government has recently been cracking down and asking foreign visitors to comply with Mexican immigration regulations, requiring them to carry passports and tourist permits, when inside the country’s territorial waters, which by their definition is within 12 miles of their coastline. A visitors permit currently costs about $21.

And don’t try to weasel out of this by claiming you’re just cruising around, and have no intention of picking up that fishing pole that’s now lying in the bottom of your boat, in an embarrassingly obvious place. The mere presence of fishing equipment on board a boat can be interpreted as intent to fish, which would trigger the requirement of a fishing license. For everyone onboard, even that little kid you brought along.

Go to www.sportfishinginmexico.com for a really good explanation of what you need to stay legal. It’s run by Mexico’s National Aquaculture and Fishing Commission (CONAPESCA). They have an office in San Diego, phone number is (619)233 4324. ,