December 3, 2021

California’s sport fishermen say proposed emissions standards will put them out of business

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Some profession fishermen say proposed emissions standards for business boats might put sport fishers round California out of business.

The Recino household is a multi-generational household of sport fishermen.

“My family has been doing business at Fisherman’s Wharf since 1908,” mentioned Frank Recino.

Frank and his son Michael captain the fishing vessel Beautiful Martha, she’s 62-years-old.

Each day the Recino household guides teams to catch fish, however now they’re anxious they might be compelled out of business.

“I’m just upset, I’m truly upset,” mentioned Frank.

The California Air Sources Board, or CARB, is proposing rules to scale back emissions from all business harbor crafts within the state.

“California has some of the worst air quality in the nation and we need to reduce emissions from all sources,” mentioned David Quiros, CARB’s Supervisor overseeing the proposal.

Sport fishermen just like the Recino household help lowering emissions, however say the engines they would want to buy to stick to the proposed standards do not exist for older vessels like theirs.

“There’s no way I could get this boat to be modern with what they’ve proposed,” mentioned Recino.

Homeowners of these older boats would both have to hold up their fishing rods or purchase a model new boat.

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Ken Franke is President of the Sport Fishing Affiliation of California.

“We want to make sure that the boats are as safe as possible and again we want to work with CARB to do that and at the same time reduce admissions but do so, without having to take boats out of service and destroy the livelihoods of a lot of these people,” mentioned Franke.

“All I can do is get mad because otherwise I’d have to cry,” mentioned Recino.

To pay for substitute vessels, CARB has steered fishermen cross the associated fee onto prospects.

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“We’re looking at a 14% increase upon a $150/day base fare per person, per day to go sport fishing, so the question for our board to answer this November is whether or not that’s an absorbable cost to the passenger of a sport fishing vessel,” mentioned Quiros.

“It’s very difficult to pass on those kinds of costs to the customer and still stay in business,” mentioned Franke.

CARB says requiring solely the latest vessels to have cleaner engines is not an possibility.

“The emissions from one sport fishing vessel is equivalent to 162 school buses operating for the same amount of time,” mentioned Bonnie Soriano of the California Air Sources Board.

“Those emissions contribute to smog, to ozone levels, to fine particle levels, and particle levels are associated with premature mortality,” mentioned Quiros.

The plan is to focus on the dirtiest engines first, in accordance with CARB.

Fishermen just like the Recino household who just lately upgraded their vessel’s engines will have extra time. There’s additionally six years of compliance extensions vessel operators might apply for in the event that they did have to exchange their vessel.

Nonetheless, Recino isn’t satisfied.

“They’re going to kill sport fishing it’s a travesty man it’s sad,” mentioned Recino.

There will be a public remark interval subsequent month and a remaining resolution in early 2022.