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Press Release & Applications For Bahamas Flats Fishing

In recent years, the fluctuating and often bizarre news coming out of the Bahamas—in regards to it’s changing views and governance of flats fishing access and conservation—has been nothing, if not confusing.  Today, the shouting and name-calling has all but died out, and rising from the regulatory dust cloud is a new blueprint of Bahamian fishing and guiding codification and law.  Below, are the most recent statements from the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Alfred Gray, in which he explains the recent changes and what it means for visitors and guides alike.


By

The Hon. V. Alfred Gray, MP.,

Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources

 

At

 

Establishment of A Regulatory Framework For

The Fly Fishing Industry in The Bahamas

 

In the Conference Room of the Ministry of

Agriculture and Marine Resources

 

Wednesday, 4th January 2017

 

 

 


 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the fly-fishing industry (world-wide) is said to be with (in revenue terms) over 5 billion dollars and in the Bahamas, it is said to be worth more than $500 million in revenue annually. For almost 20 years and under several administrations, the men and women involved in the industry, led by one Prescott Smith, have been seeking to have this very important industry regulated and include legal framework, which would set out the rules and regulations to govern the industry in the Bahamas.

About 6 or 7 years ago, the majority of the guides in the Bahamas, formed themselves in to a registered body called the “Bahamas fly fish association. Two years ago, the government of the Bahamas, (led by my ministry), agreed to the regulation of the fly-fishing industry in the Bahamas. As a result, months of consultations and negotiations began with all stakeholders throughout the Bahamas. These consultations resulted in draft regulations being prepared and presented to the cabinet for its consideration. After several drafts and worldwide circulation of the same, cabinet finally approved the regulations in October of 2016.

Ladies and gentlemen, the flats fishing sector, is an important part of the Bahamas’ tourism product and is responsible for the employment of hundreds of Bahamians throughout the Bahamas. This is particularly true for the islands of Andros, Abaco, Acklins, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Bimini, Long Island and Mayaguana. Because this sector was not governed by any form of regulations, those involved in the industry, acted as they desired, without rules or regulations and without any safeguard for conservation and sustainability of the industry. This position we believe could not be continued.

As far as we are aware, the Bahamas was the only country in the Caribbean and the Americas, and other competing jurisdiction, which had no law governing the fly fish industry.

Ladies and gentlemen, its important for me to say, that the consultative meetings, were attended by all stakeholders, inclusive of the ministry of tourism, fishing guides, marina and hotel operators, fishing lodge operators, Bahamas national trust, and other conservation groups, and non-government organizations. All under the watchful eyes and guidance of the attorney general’s office, with input from the department of marine resources.

In addition, to the meetings held, my ministry also solicited the views, and did receive inputs from interested persons and private sector stakeholders (who were unable to attend the meetings) via email, and fax messages, which emails and faxes were all scrutinized acknowledged and where necessary, those views were factored into the final regulation.

These regulation will require all persons using the flats, such as guides anglers and DIY’s, to have a license issued by the department of marine resources in new providence, or the family island administrators in the family islands and soon we will have the licenses issued on line, for a small license fee – daily fee is $5.00, weekly fee is $20.00 and yearly fee is $60.00. All guides are expected to be certified overtime by the ministry of tourism and the department of marine resources, in conjunction with approved fly fishing associations in the Bahamas.

 

SOME OF THE THINGS TO NOTE

  • BAHAMIAN CERTIFIED FISHING GUIDES WILL BE EMPLOYEDNECESSARY IF TWO(2) OR MORE ANGLERS ARE FISHING IN THE FLATS BY MEANS OF A VESSEL (SKIFFS, ETC).
  • ONLY BAHAMIAN REGISTERED VESSELS WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE FLATS.
  • ONLY BAHAMIANS WILL BE ALLOWED TO ACT AS GUIDES.
  • ALL ANGLERS OVER THE AGE OF 12 WILL NEED A LICENCE TO FISH.
  • DO IT YOURSELFERS OR DYI’s WILL NEED NO FISHING GUIDE.
  • A CONSERVATION FUND WILL BE ESTABLISHED FOR THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE FLATS AND ITS FISHERY RESOURCES.
  • NO COMMERCIAL FISHING IN THE FLATS WILL BE ALLOWED.
  • THE FISHERY COVERED BY THIS REGULATION INCLUDES THE BONE FISH, THE TARPON, THE COBIA AND THE PERMIT FISHERIES.
  • THE FINES AND PENALTIES AS SET OUT IN REGULATIONS WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.

 

Finally ladies and gentlemen, I hereby announce today that these regulations will come into effect on Monday, 9th January 2017. I know if everyone does their part in the observance of these regulations, the fly fishing industry in the Bahamas will grow from strength to strength.

Full Regulations, Permits & Applications (Click Here)

For more info or to contact local officials go to www.bahamas.gov.bs


To read Miles Nolte’s story “Muddy Waters in the Bahamas,” an in-depth coverage of these events and regulations as written for American Angler magazine, CLICK HERE.

In This Issue – August 2016


Past Issues…

VOLUME FORTY-ONE,  ISSUE 4

The Bird Hunting Edition

FEATURES

That Last Time in Regent
Roosters, snow, and the long walk toward a new horizon.
by Dave Zoby

Finding the Woods
Homeward bound through Carolina quail country.
by H. William Rice

Coyote 
Dogs sleep, friends leave, and stars turn in the desert sky.
by Ron Dungan

Hunting the Days of Advent
What sustains them, finally, are the stories.
by Peter A. Fritzell

The Bird Familiar
In pursuit of a distant drumming.
by Reid Bryant

COLUMNS

Journal: Swift Creek Farm
In search of the freeborn bob.
by Steve Walburn

Yarnspin: Traverse
Chasing ptarmigan through the doors of perception.
by Christine Cunningham

Traditions: Odd Corners: A Story of Woodcock Covers
by Max Foster ♦ Edited by Will Ryan

Shooting: Sweet Sixteen Revisited
The perils of Pauline have nothing on the old 16.
by Terry Wieland

Angling: Doing It All Wrong 
Fishing upstream in the downstream drift.
by Miles Nolte

Art: George Stubbs
Masterpieces of the 18th-century sporting dog.
by Brooke Chilvers

Eating: American Quail
Happy meals.
by Martin Mallet

Expeditions: Birds, Dogs, Guns & Guides
The quail lifestyle is tough to achieve.
by Terry Wieland

Books: The Glorious Twelfth
by Christopher Camuto

Poem: Two Tracks
by Lee Arten

Front Cover: John, an original oil on canvas, 11 x 14 inches, by David Lanier.

Inside Front Cover: “On Point,” A photograph by Russell Graves.

Buffalo Brothers

This video by Steve Dally features Arkansas natives Ben and Gabe Levin as they guide and show off their favorite local river systems to a small group of enthusiast; including our own Miles Nolte. The Buffalo River and Crooked Creek—both premier smallmouth fisheries in their own right—are mostly untouched by the modern world and highlight a different appeal to the waters that run through the Ozarks.

In This Issue – 2015 December

VOLUME FORTY,  ISSUE 7 

2016 Expeditions & Guides Annual

FEATURES

Sleepless in Iceland
Beating the clock and chasing Atlantic salmon and trout in the land of fire and ice.
by Evan McGlinn

Nyati!
Cape buffalo with light tackle.
by Sam Fadala

Lots of Everything
The one place that has it all.
by Worth Mathewson

Steelhead Blues
A poem.
by David C. Meyer

Talavera Redux
Think low-house eight, gun down. With overtones of Beethoven and Waterloo.
by Terry Wieland

Welcome to Slovenia
All’s well that ends well, or so the Wizard says.
by Elhanan Ben-Avraham

PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNALS

Tusker
by Dušan Smetana

Island Hopping
by Adam Tavender

COLUMNS

Gray’s Best 2016

Angling: 
Out of Bristol Bay
The other side of the Aleutian Peninsula.
by Miles Nolte

Shooting:
 La Courtoiseie et la Chase
As inseparable as yin and yang.
by Terry Wieland

DESTINATIONS

How to Use This Guide

People, Places, and Equipment

Online Directory

Index to Advertisers

Front Cover: Photography by Dušan Smetana.