Authored by: Gena Gibbs Source: Bahamas Information Services
Fly Fishers, Please read the press release below. Looks like we may soon need a permit to fly fish in the Bahamas. A draft bill proposes $10 to apply and $20 a day to fish on the flats. You can email your comments on this bill to: email@example.com.
Nassau, Bahamas — Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources the Hon. V. Alfred Gray said the Government is seeking to bring into force rules and regulations to govern the sports fly fishing sector.
“Fly fishing in this context of the statement made, refers to fishing which is carried out within the shallow waters of The Bahamas, by the catch and release method, in pursuit of species such as the bonefish, the tarpon, and the permit almost exclusively by visitors to The Bahamas,” said Minister Gray.
During a press conference at his office, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Minister Gray announced the new developments involving the Fly Fishing Industry and the Proposed Amendments to the Fisheries Act.
He said, “The Government of The Bahamas fully recognises the importance of this sector (fly fishing) of the fishing industry, particularly as a component of the tourism product of The Bahamas. This industry provides employment and income for fishing guides, lodge operators, taxi drivers and other businesspersons throughout the Islands of The Bahamas.”
Minister Gray said the Government is aware of the sector’s importance and has decided to prepare legislation and regulations, which are intended to regulate this sector of the fishing industry, thus providing the rules and regulations, which will govern the industry and those who participate in it, whether as fishermen or guides, or lodge operators.
He explained that this is to ensure that the marine environment, upon which the fishery is based, is protected and that the sustainability of the fishing industry is preserved for future generations of The Bahamas and visitors alike.
“The Government has approved the preparation of draft regulation and has adequately been in consultation with all stakeholders involved in this industry.
“My Ministry has had preliminary consultations with some stakeholders, other representatives, and a number of agencies of the Government, and a consultative draft regulation has been prepared that proposes various changes to the Fisheries Act and Regulations, to allow for orderly growth and development of the fly fishing sector,” said Minister Gray.
“This draft document is today being provided on our website and otherwise, for review and comment by the general public, particularly those who are involved in the industry.”
He said the final document will be prepared once the consultation is completed.
The consultative draft can be found on the Government’s website at www.bahamas.gov.bs, at the administrator’s offices in the Family Islands, from all offices of the Department of Marine Resources, and the Ministry of Agriculture Head Office.
“Interested persons and organizations are urged to review the draft and provide their comments thereon to the Department of Marine Resources by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and those comments, if any, should be sent to us on or before Friday, June 26, 2015, said Minister Gray.
Further, a national consultation symposium or conference will be held in New Providence for all stakeholders and interested persons, on Monday, June 29, 2015, in the conference room of the Agriculture Ministry, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It is expected that this national consultation will bring together stakeholder representatives and those involved in the industry from throughout The Bahamas, in order to review the draft and to receive their comments and recommendations during that conference,” said Minister Gray.
“Stakeholders and those wishing to participate in this national consultation and seminar are urged to register by completing a registration form and providing same to the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources or the Administrator in the respective Family Islands, as soon as possible.”
Minister Gray said he urges all stakeholders to embrace this opportunity to participate in this consultative process, as the aim is to build a stronger fly fishing sector in The Bahamas for the overall benefit of Bahamians and visitors alike.
The Government of The Bahamas
Excerpt from the draft bill:
3.Permit required for foreign fishing in the flats.
(1)A non-Bahamian shall not, unless the holder of a personal permit, engage
in foreign fishing within the flats.
(2)A vessel, other than a Bahamian owned and licensed charter vessel, shall
not engage in flats fishing unless —
(a)a permit to engage in sports fishing has been issued in respect of the
vessel in accordance with the Act and regulation 47 of the Fisheries
Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Regulations
(b)each person, other than a Bahamian, intending to fish in the flats by
means of the vessel is the holder of a valid permit granted under
(3) A non-Bahamian wishing to fish within the flats must apply for a personal
permit in Form No. 1 as set out in the
and pay the
(4) Application for a personal permit to engage in flats fishing shall be
addressed to the Minister and may be submitted to the Department of
Marine Resources or to a fishing guide, fishing lodge operator or a Family
Island administrator authorised in accordance with regulation 4.
(5) An application may be submitted in hard copy or electronically.
Application for flats fishing permit (personal):
Application for certification (fishing guide):
Application for certification (fishing lodge operator):
Fees for Issuance of Documents:
Flats Fishing Permit (Personal):
20.00 per day
Certificate (Flats Fishing Guide):
150.00 per annum
Certificate (Fishing Lodge Operator):
250.00 per annum