Sport fishing and whale watching boats face impending storm

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“CARB has failed to obtain real data to properly assess the overwhelming impact of their proposed regulations,” said Frank Ursitti, owner of H&M Landing of San Diego. “Nowhere in the country has a state proposed regulations that will have the practical effect of destroying deep-sea fishing and whale-watching businesses, and threatening the coastal communities that depend on them for tourism and spending. visitors. California the experiment will end if the CARB plan is not rejected. “

At Friday 19 Novembere, CARB Board of Directors to Review Harbor Craft Engine Regulations this would result in the decommissioning of commercial passenger vessels due to proposed engines and technology which are structurally unfeasible for existing engine rooms. These commercial passenger boats are typically associated with sport fishing, whale watching, eco-tourism, and scuba diving. According to CARB, ships built of wood and fiberglass (over 80%) will likely need to be replaced. Metal boats that can comply will need to reduce passenger numbers by up to 40% to address stability and safety issues.

“It became clear from the start that CARB does not understand marine operations and fishing practices, and that they are reducing regulatory costs and inflating benefits. The actual cost of the new ships is staggering and would require us to triple the price of tickets for day trips. No client is going to pay this to fish or view marine life and that would end our nonprofit programs for at-risk youth and veterans, ”said Ursitti.

Analysis released by SAC today reveals that CARB’s Economic Assessment (SRIA) grossly understates its conclusion that the proposed regulation could lead to (just) “some corporate elimination”. The new analysis reveals that the proposed regulations pose significant economic barriers for boat owners who cannot afford new vessels costing millions more than CARB anticipated and to acquire financing, and for those who could, maintaining current passenger loads while increasing prices by 97% or 201% is impossible.

These findings led Rob southwick, an expert in market research, statistics and economics, specializing in the sport fishing and outdoor recreation markets, to conclude: “Any assumption that costs can be fully or even partially passed on to customers without reducing the participation is simply wrong. If boat operators were in a position to charge higher prices, like any business, they already would.

Since CARB did not secure actual offers for vessel replacement and refused to be transparent in providing usable and accessible data, SAC commissioned its own analysis with the help of a shipbuilder. , a certified public account (CPA) and Southwick and Associates.

Southwick and associates Main findings: (link to full report)

  • Contrary to the CARB estimate of $ 2.1 million for a new vessel, a reputable shipbuilder provided bids for the two most common passenger vessels found offshore California rating. The offers revealed costs of $ 4.6 million build a 65ft day vessel (Class 1, suitable for day fishing trips, whale watching and scuba diving trips) and $ 5.7 million for an 80 foot multi-day vessel (class 2). These boats should comply with the rule proposed by CARB, if new engines and equipment are certified.
  • According to the APC report, based on the operating budgets of H & M’s current landing vessels, to break even, companies replacing a Class 1 vessel would have to increase the prices of a fishing trip to ‘a day from $ 180 To $ 542 (201% increase) and a new class 2 boat that offers multi-day fishing trips is expected to increase its prices by $ 200 To $ 394 (97% increase). These prices are significantly higher than the 19% to 27% increases planned by the CARB.
  • Communities with lower economic means are the most affected by rising passenger ticket prices.
  • The CPA’s analysis highlighted the funding challenges. The CPA notes that 20-40% is a commonly required down payment in the marine industry. Considering that existing non-compliant boats will have no resale value in California and the glut of boats for sale will depress markets outside of California, companies will find it difficult to sell their current boats and secure down payments on new ships, increasing the risk for banks. Banks should charge higher down payments and / or higher rates. Without feasible funding, many vessel operators will close their doors.
  • Californians spend almost $ 1 billion annually to access California 174 US Coast Guard inspected sport fishing boats and supported local jobs, and nearly 10% of California anglers are out-of-state residents, an additional source of visitor spending for coastal communities.
  • Higher ticket prices for passengers would impact participation rates in the fishery, and as fishing license sales and income decline, funding for state fishing and conservation programs would. also an impact.

“Boat owners have used state subsidy programs to install low-emission engines for years and this measured approach has shown real results,” said Jaime Diamond, owner of Stardust and Coral Sea Sportfishing at Santa barbara. “Rather than continuing on this path, CARB wants us to take our boats out of the sea and spend millions of dollars on new boats with engine equipment that has not been certified safe by the US Coast Guard. By asking for the impossible, millions of Californians will be denied access to the sea when the boats cease to operate. “

Background

At September 21, 2021, the CARB published its Proposed Amendments to the Recreational Craft Regulations. the CARB Council, appointed largely by the Governor Gavin Newsom, will hold a virtual hearing November 19, 2021.

CARB’s engine regulations have invited bipartisan opposition from state lawmakers and a coalition of over 60 local, state and national organizations representing small business, tourism, marinas / ports, local agencies, the retail, non-profit organizations, boating and sport fishing. In addition, more than 20,000 fishermen have signed a petition imploring Governor Newsom to Save our boats.

The sport fishing association of California (SAC) is a professional organization representing Southern california owners of sport fishing and whale watching and landing boats. The Golden State Fishermen’s Association represents commercial passenger fishing vessels and recreational offshore fishermen in Northern California.

Interviews can be arranged with boat owners at most ports and marinas. To view the coalition, www.savefishing.com/coalition.

Contact: Marko Mlikotin, River City Communications
[email protected] or 916.817.4444

SOURCE Sport Fishing Association of California


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