It pains me to have to write this, to keep having to write these posts about what everyone should know are just horrible, horrible ideas.
There is a new draft of the regulations out, this time put out by the Ministry of Fisheries and since they have pretty much had a monopoly on the worst ideas, you can imagine where this is going.
This does not ban DIY, so if that’s all you care about, you are in the clear… kind of. However, if you mis-calculate and end up committing an “offense,” well, the fine is up to $5,000 with the added possibility of three months in Bahamian jail. Doesn’t that feel welcoming?
You can still rent a boat to go fish, as long as you are the only one on it. A boat with two people required a guide, or, $5,000 and 3 months in jail.
Native Bahamians are required to buy a license to fish the waters right in front of their own homes.
Everything is catch and release with a limit of one in possession, which, of course, is not catch and release. (UPDATE – I think I got this one wrong. Similarly to how Florida struggled with the definition, this just means you can be holding one for a photo, so the fish is in your possession, but you don’t keep it.)
To make matters worse, the proposed regs enshrine the place of power of the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association, run by Prescott, who should be disqualified from being 100 feet from anything involving fly fishing based on how poorly he’s handled this whole thing.
I’m hearing stories of independent guides really hurting as anglers just go other places. This isn’t going to help. This is the dumbest bunch of regulations in one place, at one time, in the modern history of the Bahamas.
I cannot imagine that the average Bahamian has any idea of the power play going on here, or how their lives and businesses would be impacted by this. The place I visited on Abaco earlier this year would be pretty much shut down and that family would lose at least 50% of the income they get from tourists, if not more. I bet they haven’t been consulted here. They would be blind-sided.
You can’t promote your industry by threatening your primary customers with three months in jail. Who does that?
I’m not sure who you can write or complain to at this point. I’d urge you to maybe give a call to your Bahamian friends, the places you stay, the business you frequent, and tell them that something evil this way comes and the hurt is only just beginning.
This would be a disaster.
stakeholders and Interested partiesPlease see the attached draft regulations for theFly Fishing industry.I am directed to forward the attached draft for yourviews and/or comments (if any).I am to request any response on or before 19 May, 2016Angela AlburyMichael T BraynenDirectorDepartment of Marine ResourcesP O Box N 3028Nassau, BahamasTel 242- 393-1777Fax 242-393-0238To help ensure that I get your email messages, copy to email@example.com