Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Update on NOM-029 - Make Your Voice Heard!

"Take a Minute - Save Some Billfish"

That was the heading of an email sent on October 14th to my in-box from The Billfish Foundation. I signed-up for their email notification system and they do an excellent job of sending updates on what they are working on, current news reports, etc. You can sign-up here: The Billfish Foundation. On the left-side toolbar is a box to enter your email address, click 'signup' and that´s it!.

These are the folks in-the-know, who have been working for years on conservation issues around the world. When I wrote this blog entry: Can Mexico follow in Peru's Footsteps & Preserve Their Sportfishing Industry?" the information on Peru came from TBF's website.

They are hard at work again, in collaboration with Sea Watch , fighting to over-turn the "incidental by-catch agreement" of NOM-029. Here is the link to the online letter to Mexican officials - all you have to do is click, read the information and enter in your name & email address: Mail Campaign Bycatch Letter.

Sea Watch has done the work of submitting the letter to the right folks for you - click on send and your note (that you can personalize with your own thoughts and opinions) is automatically sent to five officials who - quoted from the website: "... share responsibility managing the resources of the Sea of Cortez".

Here is a quoted segment of the letter that you would sign, "The "by-catch agreement" permits and encourages commercial operations to catch and sell their valuable "by-catch", thereby driving local fishermen out of business and destroying the sport fishery. Without serious enforcement measures and changes to fishing techniques, we should expect that longliners working near the BCS shore will take around 90% of our valuable sport species. Furthermore, we should expect the sport fishery to be decimated by these practices."

Please help Sea Watch, The Billfish Foundation and all others who are working hard to preserve the sanctity of the Sea of Cortez and it´s spectacular inhabitants, by clicking the link above and having your voice heard.

The Spanish version of the letter is on this page: Mail Campaign Bycatch Letter (espanol).

Thanks to TBF and Sea Watch for this post, Molly

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Importing a Car to Baja

For penance for my lack of recent posts I thought I would tackle this bear of a question. Reader beware - it is complicated and fairly confusing, especially as things most likely will be changing once again in the new year (January, 2009). Here goes...

Baja is a Free Trade Zone. You do not need a permit or to post a bond when entering the Peninsula by car. When entering the mainland these items are needed, but Baja is exempt from the regulations. If you need detailed information on importing a car to the mainland, please read Question #2 on this page: Viva La Baja! Questions & Answers.

Not having to post a bond or acquire a permit is great for those taking trips, staying for a few months, etc. but what about those folks who move permanently and want to import their U.S. vehicle so as to register as a Mexican car and therefore not have to maintain current vehicle registration and license from the U.S.? Therein lies the rub, so to speak.

As of March 2nd, 2008 the Mexican government excluded all vehicles for import other than year 1998 models. Calderon may turn back this regulation and allow imports again of vehicles 10 years and older via NAFTA original agreement but no one can say that will happen for sure. NAFTA agreement is scheduled to go into effect in the new year (January, 2009). Here is what NAFTA delineates:

"Only vehicles 10 years and older will be allowed in initially. Those age restrictions will gradually be reduced until 2019, when the used-car market will be completely open."

So maybe after the first of the year vehicles other than solely 1998 models will be available for import as older models are allowed back in - but there is no guarantee, Calderon can do as he chooses... 2019 may see an open market or may not.

Next blog entry: How to maintain car registration in the U.S. when living in Baja.

Molly, author of Viva La Baja! Relocation Guide to the Baja California Peninsula, available to order at www.vivalabaja.com.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lack of Recent Posts on Viva La Baja! Blog

I could be considered guilty of ´blog neglect´and maybe should be! My half-completed "Hallloween in Baja" post will have to be kept for next year. Currently my son and I are in a travel mode, just completing a major pain in the rear (unless you have tons of cash for airfare) journey from Central America to South America. Much of the time there has been little to no Internet service available... regardless, apologies for being lax on posts.

Upcoming on Viva La Baja! Blog:

*** Learning the Language - for Adults
*** Overfishing & Regulations Meant to Prevent it... Is it working?
*** Getting the Scoop in Baja - Online News Publications for Baja

And many more... but don´t want to give away too many ideas :)

Molly, author of Viva La Baja! Relocation & Real Estate Guide for the Baja California Peninsula. www.vivalabaja.com