It is important to carefully observe the fishing regulations of Mexico and California. Anglers must comply with the documenation requirements when bringing sportfish from Mexico into the United States. The following information is the best available at this time - it does not negate any change and we recommend you always review actual government regulations prior to your fishing trip.

Fishing Regulations

Fishing Regulations

Tuna pen sea 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. There are over 60 tuna pens located in northern Baja waters. 

 

It has been discovered that the tuna pens often attract other tuna. Although this sounds like a good opportunity for anglers to take catch tuna, Mexican regulations specifically state that vessels should not be fishing within the 250-meter zone that surrounds a commercial fishing activity. The Mexican government considers the tuna pens a commercial fishing activity. 

 

A violation of this Mexican regulation can result in action being taken against the vessel.

 

CONAPESCA would like to remind all anglers, captains and vessel owners that Mexico’s Sportfishing Norm (NOM-017-PESC-1994) prohibits any recreational sportfishing activities at a distance of less than 250 meters (820 feet) from commercial fishing vessels, pens, and fixed or floating fishing tackle in Mexican waters.

 

Please respect Mexico’s laws when fishing in Mexican waters.

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California Sportfishing Regulations

 

Fishing Licenses are required for persons 16 years and older. The Department of Fish and Wildlife is the enforcement agency for protecting California's marine resources.  

CA Fishing License Multi-Day Permit Form CA Sportfishing Regs
California Marine Protected Areas

 

California recently enacted a series of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). When sportfishing, it is important that anglers know their current location and relevant regulations and restrictions. For current maps and information regarding how to properly visit a Marine Protected Area in California, click the button below. 

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CA Marine Protected Areas

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Mexican Sportishing Regulations
 

Fishing Licenses are required by all persons aboard a boat fishing in Mexico regardless of age.  The Mexican Navy is the primary agency that inspects licenses when fishing in Mexican waters.

MEX Sportfishing Regs MEX Fishing License

When entering Mexico by water individuals are required to obtain an FMM Visitor Document. Click on the link below to find detailed instructions on how to comply with regulations. Please check with Mexico Immigration for any questions.The estimated cost is 206 pesos.

Vessels must be imported when being brought into Mexican territory. Below is a link to the process for a 10 year authorization. Please contact the Mexican Consulate in San Diego for any questions. The estimated cost is $50 - this varies on the value of the peso at the time. 

 

Obtain A Vessel Importation Document Obtain An FMM Visitor Document
 
FAQ: What paperwork is required when I return from Mexico aboard a boat with fish caught in Mexico?

 

California requires anglers to complete a "Fish Declaration" form when returning with fish from Mexico.

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CA Fish Declaration Form