Finally got to interview Alberto Diaz today. He's the spokesperson at the Mexican Consulate General's office in San Diego. And the only Mexican official putting anything out to the public on the issues in Mexico.
Next week's issue of WON will have a sweeping story on the state of fishing in Mexican Waters from both U.S.-based sportboats and private boats. In the meantime, here is the brass tacks , in five key points, of what Diaz said regarding the need of the FMM for private boats and the FMM as well as SCT for sportboats.
1) Yes, the only way for private boaters out of San Diego to get a FMM is through the port of Ensenada. Cost is $292 pesos, or roughly $22 US. The other option is to get an FM3 in Tijuana, which is good for a year.
2) The Mexican Navy is not enforcing the issue too heavy during this "transition" period. In other words, if you are on a skiff and do not have a FMM, you will be asked to leave the Coronados or Northern Baja Coast.
3) Why the "change?" The Mexican Constitution has always required immigration forms--that's why you fill one out on every flight. But now, as Diaz says, due to security, there are more frequent inspectitons and the law is being enforced.
4) Even Diaz doesn't have answers to all the questions. But the bottom line is the face of fishing in Mexico is changing. Could ther be a compromise and something worked out? The real question might be what type of compromise and solution will be worked out.
5) Diaz was quick to point out that there was some inaccurate information put out (cough, cough internet message boards) that there is a new "fishing visa." There is no new visa. It's not a visa, right? It's an FMM that is changing the way we fish and do allother boating activities in Mexico. It's not that it's new. It's that it's being enforced.
Bloggers note: it sounds, after talking to sources on and kind of off the record, that there will be some practical solutions and some growing into the requirements that are now being quasi enforced. But in the meantime, sportboats are staying 24 miles off the beach where the FMM is not required.
--Look for the complete story in WON next week, or scroll back through the blogs for more info. In the meantime, look for "fishing" blogs to take over....