Why do things that seem so simple have to be so difficult?
It would seem that Mexico, which is working very hard at the moment to attract tourism, would understand that its rich sportfishing waters are one of the major attributes that attract anglers to visit from the U.S.
It would seem to us that Mexico would try to encourage visits from U.S.-based sport anglers by making it easy to obtain a fishing license and a visiting boat permit, with easy-to-complete forms and easy-to-pay fees.
Alas, it not only isn’t easy, it is so difficult that even Mexican officials do not fully understand the system — and many U.S. anglers tell stories about getting one set of instructions from one Mexico government office and a completely different and contradictory set of instructions from another office.
Because of a poorly planned and executed policy change requiring anglers who visit Mexican waters aboard charter sportfishing boats and private vessels that do not enter a Mexico port to fill out a new FMM permit form — and pay a new fee — near chaos has ensued. San Diego sportfishing fleet boat operators who were trying to comply with the new rules were caught up in a recent on-the-water crackdown — and, as a result, most of the fleet has (for now) stopped taking its U.S. passengers fishing off Mexico’s popular Los Coronados islands, near San Diego.
This confusing situation is helping neither the Mexican government nor visiting U.S. anglers. The time has come for international diplomacy to resolve this situation.
Cutting Mexico off from U.S. sportfishing boats hurts both Mexico and U.S. economic interests, and there seems to be little reason for doing so — other than a confusing web of bureaucracy that helps no one.