Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018
History in the making

Baja Biosphere, bracelets, tuna pens and TIPs
Last weekend I attended the “Let’s Talk Hook-Up” live from the Sportfishing Association of California’s Open House in San Diego. I picked up some valuable information for Baja travelers, which I thought was worth passing on.

In December 2017, a Presidential Decree by Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto established the Pacific Islands Biosphere Reserve, covering 2.7 million acres including 21 islands and 97 islets, plus all the surrounding marine areas.

THE DECREE REQUIRES that every individual on board a fishing vessel entering the Biosphere Reserve area (which includes the Coronado Islands, Todos Santos and San Martin Island) must purchase and wear a bracelet, effective immediately —whether they are fishing or not.

The decree requires that every individual on board a fishing vessel entering the Biosphere Reserve area (which includes the Coronado Islands, Todos Santos, and San Martin Island) must purchase and wear a bracelet, effective immediately — whether they are fishing or not.

The boundaries of the Biosphere reserve: N32 20.000' to N32 29.000', and W117 12.000' to W117 20.000'

Currently, the bracelets are available for purchase at $5 per bracelet per day at Fisherman’s Landing Tackle Shop, Point Loma Sportfishing Tackle Shop and the Dana Landing Market & Fuel Dock. Anglers will be required to provide boat name, boat owner’s name, number of passengers and dates in the reserve areas, but no other special IDs or info is necessary to purchase the bracelets.

While I’m on the subject of Coronado Islands, there are tuna pens around the Coronado Islands and in the northern Baja California waters. The tuna pen aquaculture is the farming of fish by enclosing tuna in man-made pens. These pens are cages that consist of large diameter flotation pipes that hold heavy-duty nets.

It has been discovered that the tuna pens often attract schools of free-roaming tuna. Although this appears to be a good opportunity for anglers to catch those tuna, CONAPESCA reminds all captains, anglers, and vessel owners that Mexico’s Sport Fishing Nom (NOM-017-PESC-1994) prohibits any recreational fishing activities within 250 meters (820 feet) from commercial fishing vessels, and fixed or floating fishing tackle in Mexican waters. This includes tuna pens! Violations will result in legal action taken against the vessel.

While this requirement has been enforced for a while, there may be some who aren’t aware of it.

Also, a reminder about “TIP” (Temporary Import Permit): From 0 to 12 miles from shore, a TIP is required; beyond 12 miles, it is not. The cost for the TIP that is good for 10 years is around $55 depending on inflation rate in the Mexican peso.

First, a Temporary Import Permit must be obtained. They are not expensive and can be obtained via the Mexican Consulate Office closest to you, at the border from the CIITEV unit in the Customs Office of entry or through this page on this Mexican Government link:


Documents required to obtain a TIP are:

1. Original current vessel documentation or registration that proves ownership;

2. Applicant’s ID (Passport);

3. For vessels registered under a Corporation or LLC, a notarized letter to authorize the vessel operation master operating it.

A word of caution, if a boat is purchased in Mexico and already has the permit, the TIP must be transferred or cancelled by the former owner.

The payment on the website may only be made via an international credit card in the name of the importer. Remember to call your bank or credit card company to inform them you plan to make an international transaction. These Temporary Import Permits are valid for 10 years from the effective date of the temporary importation of the vessel. A TIP can be renewed for another 10 years if the application is completed 45 days prior to the expiration of the past permit.

Once a TIP has been obtained for a vessel, some form of an FMM (Formato Migratoria Multiple) is needed for everyone on board. The most common immigration document for visitors is the Tourist Card, which can be easily obtained at the Point of Entry and costs $16 USD depending on the Mexican peso inflation rate. A tourist may also obtain an FMM via the SAC Website: www.californiasportfishing.org/fmm-visitor-form .

Along with the immigration document, the captain must report entering and exiting Mexico with a passenger list and copies of their individual immigration ­documents. If this is done online, both the passenger list and payment receipt must be e-mailed to: bc_pescade


Applicants will receive an e-mail from National Immi­gration Institute (INM) either authorizing the trip or denying entry to a passenger intending to enter Mexico’s territorial water onboard the given vessel.

The authorizing e-mail should contain a National ­Immigration Institute (INM)’s permit to enter as a ­“Visitor without Permission to Perform Paid Activities.” The length of stay will cover the amount of time requested in the application yet shall not exceed 180 days, nor may it be used for multiple entries and departures.

A copy of this information will be sent to the Secretary of the Navy (SEMAR) and to the Secretary of ­Communications and Transportation (SCT.)

For further information call INFOSAT at:

Mexico Toll-Free: 01 800 4636728 options 7-2-2-1-1.

US Toll-Free: 1 877 4488728 options 7-2-2-1-1.

Finally, anyone on board must have a Mexican fishing license whether fishing or not; directions on how to purchase fishing licenses online can be found here along with the Mexican Fishing Regulations: www.sportfishinginmexico.com.

Although Mexico may be checking for documents and permits more than in the past, they have made it much easier to comply with these requirements with their online systems in English.

For more information about the Temporary Import Permit regulations, they are translated into English here. www.californiasportfishing.org/temporary-importation-permit .

In addition, fishing licenses are required by all persons aboard a vessel fishing in Mexican waters regardless of age. The Mexican Navy oversees enforcing regulations by randomly boarding vessels. A copy of the inspection report will be provided to captains upon request.

Inspections also enforce immigration requirements. Visit our “FMM Instructions” section and follow instructions to process a Migratory Form for each individual onboard. For questions, please contact the corresponding government office.


To be forewarned is to be forearmed….

Links to the Show

Sat., Oct 6, 2018 Let’s Talk Hook-Up Saturday 10/6/18 — Live from the Sportfishing Association of California Open House – 7-8 a.m. youtu.be/Qww8amU80Pk

Sat., Oct 6, 2018 Let’s Talk Hookup Saturday 10/6/18- Live from the Sportfishing Association of California Open House – 8-9 a.m. youtu.be/tc7eoRUHcDw

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