Mexico checks San Diego anglers for passports

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San Diego-based sportfishing boats have recently been encountering problems with the Mexican government over passports.

Last week, the Mexican navy boarded and detained three sportboats off Cedros Island. Passengers were checked for passports. The captain of a Mexican navy boat told one of the sportboats to leave Cedros because one of the anglers did not have a U.S. passport, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Carlos Luken, of San Diego-based Conapesca, Mexico’s national aquaculture and fishing commission, said Americans must have a yearly Mexican fishing license to fish in Mexico from a boat. No Mexican sportfishing license is required for shore fishing.

Michelle Gandola, a spokeswoman for the Sportfishing Association of California, said association officials are working on the problem with Mexican officials at Conapesca, the fisheries representatives and the Mexican consulate general.

“We’re trying to get some kind of official statement from the Mexican government,” Gandola told the newspaper. “But as far as we know, no new Mexican regulation or policy has come out about passport requirements on sportboats. All we know is that a few of our boats were boarded, and passengers were asked to produce passports.”

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