Port of San Diego holds off on illegal charter deliberations

The Port of San Diego held off on deliberating proposed changes to the port district’s policy on charter vessel operations in San Diego Bay and surrounding tidelands. A possible port district code amendment to address illegal charter operations in San Diego Bay was initially placed on the Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners agenda for Dec. 10. The item was pulled prior to the meeting. Port district staff stated the board would consider the issue at a future meeting.

Illegal charter vessel operations have been a problem in San Diego Bay. Charter vessels must meet certain Coast Guard-mandated regulations, but there are individuals/groups who circumvent these requirements and sell charter services to the public. Illegal charter vessels might not meet basic safety requirements or regulations.

It’s unclear when port staff and the board will discuss the charter vessel operation amendment. Local boaters and charter companies have been urging the Port of San Diego to take action against illegal charter operations for years. The port district has been working with the Coast Guard to try to come up with a resolution, but nothing formal has been offered yet. The board, at one point, was expected to weigh in on a proposed policy at the Dec. 10 board meeting, but it now appears the deliberation will happen at some point in 2020.

The Log will continue to monitor the illegal charter issue in San Diego and report on when a formal proposal is finally presented to the Board of Port Commissioners.

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