SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – In November, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is expected to tighten emissions requirements for sport fishing and whale-watching vessels, but industry executives say the rule proposed would do more harm to businesses recovering from the pandemic.
CARB says the emissions standards will help modernize the fleet of ships and improve air quality for Californians living near the coast.
Ken Franke, of the Sportfishing Association of California, told ABC 10News that the industry is on the same page with protecting the environment, but the CARB plan is wrong.
“First of all, the industry is totally in favor of emission reductions, everyone cares about the environment. We have been on the path to engine replacement and modernization for the past 15 years. This proposed new rule requires machinery that is not suitable for ships or has not yet been invested for these ships, or has equipment that has never been tested at sea to ensure that it is safe on these ships ” Franke said. “Our request is just to the governor, we need some reasonableness. We need to get CARB to work with industry on what will actually work. “
The proposed regulations would require sport fishing and whale watching boats and all pleasure craft to replace or modify their existing engines to meet new emissions standards by 2023.
Franke said the ships, according to CARB, would likely need to be replaced because the proposed update would cost millions of dollars. He added that they are asking for the same consideration as the plans proposed by the commercial fishing industry to use the grant money to upgrade their engines to whatever there is currently, or a Tier 3 engine.
“They have given us the hard truth, in their opinion, of ‘your ships must be taken out of service’,” Franke said. “That’s all. We think that’s unacceptable, especially as we are recovering from a fragile time in the COVID fleet. These people are just getting back on their feet. Hit them with that now is all. simply disappointing. “
In a statement, CARB told ABC 10News that assuming the replacement of the vessels, ticket prices would increase by about 14% to 28% of what they are today, but that sport fishing and Hobbies
customers are well positioned to absorb these costs. CARB added that most of the boats affected by the rule change are 40 years or older.
Franke said he strongly disagreed with this position.
“We asked them to do an economic impact report. They need to come and meet the companies and study them. They haven’t done that yet… It’s going to cost way more than the percentage point they cost. To speak.” said Franke.
Franke added that he believes the estimated price increases will also reduce customers from low-income communities and those who do not have easy access to the ocean.
In San Diego, more than 2,000 people work in the sport fishing industry and the industry earns nearly $ 300 million a year, according to the Sportfishing Association of California.
The association launched an online petition to ask Governor Newsom