Bahamas to Protect Fly Fishing Industry


Travis Cartwright Carroll (The Bahamas Weekly) writes that, for the first time, the Bahamas’ fly fishing industry will have regulations to help sustain one of the country’s most popular sports while aiming to protect of the flats and fisheries resources.

The regulations, which come into effect on January 9, 2017, will establish a regulated fly fishing industry in The Bahamas. It was the culmination of months of work between the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism with public consultation.

Deputy Director General in the Ministry of Tourism Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson said “both the public and private sectors collaborated extensively on the new legislation with the aim of sustainable development of the fly fishing sector. [. . .] Our aim was to make the industry sustainable for those working in the sector and for those enjoying the natural environment and sporting activities of The Bahamas.”

The regulations will require anglers above the age of 12, who wish to fish in the flats, to apply for a personal angler’s license and pay a prescribed fee. Non-citizens must pay $15 for a day license, $20 for a weekly license, $30 for a monthly license and $60 for an annual license.

The regulations will also require a foreign vessel wishing to fish in the flats to obtain the usual sports fishing permit and each person on the vessel intending to flats fish to hold a personal license. The regulations also ban commercial fishing in the flats. Anglers are only allowed to catch and release when catching bonefish, permit, snook, cobia and tarpon.

The new law will also establish a Conservation Fund for the management and protection of the flats and fisheries resources in The Bahamas. [. . .]

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