Minister for Fisheries issues crazy pants press release

“It was then agreed, among other things, that only Bahamian citizens should be permitted to be licensed as guides and authorized to offer guiding services for the fly-fishing industry; and that visiting anglers engaged in fly-fishing activities be required to use the services of a licensed guide.”

“As a consequence, I am happy to reiterate the continuance of the Flats Fishing Regulations, 2017, and I look forward to the input and continue support of stakeholders as we move this process forward.”

So… this came from Minister Wells (minagriculturemarine@bahamas.gov.bs) and it appears to contradict the Prime Minister, insisting the regulations ARE still in place and NOT suspended.

Additionally, the press release was either crafted with a great deal of care to say something pretty important, or it was crafted with absolutely no care and makes a huge implication without understanding what it had done. The statement says “…visiting anglers engaged in fly-fishing activities be required to use the services of a licensed guide.” That doesn’t call out the 2:1 angler:guide ratio for boats, but just says if you are fly fishing in the Bahamas you are going to need a guide. That’s DIY folks. That’s been what these guys have been after the whole time. So… was that just super careless or was that the first big announcement of DIY as a fight out in the open?

Truth be told… I have no idea. These guys were supposed to be the good guys, but they don’t seem to be all on the same page. This is a page straight out of the BFFIA playbook and a massive step backward for the industry and all those who care about the Bahamas.

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4 comments

  1. This strangeness is beyond dumb. Maybe he could open a Twitter account and learn how to be more ridiculous?

  2. Eric English

    Hey, maybe if someone gets arrested and has a sentence and huge fine, the PM can grant amnesty or ignore the cries of the Bonefishing industry… He needs to get his act together and deal with his distractors and get his party on board to fix this BS administrative and arbitrary draconian decision. I understand the nationalists that want to grab all the business for themselves. It would have been worse had they grabbed the lodges!

  3. Bahamian patriot

    this web sit is clearly on the side of the Abaco guide Association.
    why didn’t you give the true press release from thenassauguardian.com so your readers can read for them self. and not you.
    we do invite DIY waders on any island of the Bahamas,so does Andros island.we love are DIY waders as long as your not guiding and being PAID…

    We Highly Appreciate all the Anglers of the World who support Local Guides of the Bahamas, those who fish two days or three with a guide and then fish the other three to four days on there own.
    you say you love Bahamians,but you work hard to divide us. I love Americans, try not fueling hate, not just between Bahamians. but by trying to make the world of fly fishing believe that we don’t support DIY.
    you can go fly fishing on your own, just not Two in a boat to access the flats. you can have two in a boat to bottom fish and snorkeling. you can have up to four in a car to access the Flats.

    Eastern Canada Only allow Local guides to Guide in New Brunswick.
    in the Bahamas we give a choice to have, or not to have a guide and you are still trying to tell us how to run our country. my friend. the Bahamas is a country for Bahamians, if you would like to have a voice, Apply for citizenship.

  4. bonefishbjorn

    Tommy, that quote is from the press release. It is a quote from the press release. In that press release the Minister appears to threaten DIY fishing. Now… was that because someone doesn’t know how to write a press release? Or was that actually trying to put a new topic on the table. DIY has been in the crosshairs for folks like PS for a long time. I’ve heard him say as much with my own two years, face to face. You can tell me it isn’t true, but I know better. Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.

    99% of foreign anglers have no problem paying for a license, or saying all guides should be Bahamian.

    Eastern Canada is about the only place you are required to have a guide. That’s not the norm. That’s not how the big fly fishing economies work. If you think that model will be a good one for you and for the Bahamas I think you are mistaken and I think that mistake will hurt the Bahamas. It’s like you are driving towards a cliff and folks are trying to tell you bad things are ahead and your reaction is to say “Hey, this is my car, I’ll drive it where I want. You want to tell me where to drive, go get your own car.”

    You do understand that you can make all the rules you want in your own country, but if we foreigners are unhappy with the rules and decide not to go to the Bahamas, you have no industry. What % of your clients are Bahamian? It has to be something we work together on. It is our dollars that create the fly fishing economy, it isn’t like we should have zero interest. These are our hard earned dollars. These are our hard won vacation days. We don’t HAVE to come to the Bahamas. We WANT to come to the Bahamas, but if you enact some BS rules designed to help only a few… well, if we aren’t OK with that we’ll go somewhere else.

    Is your business up? That’s what the Minister is saying… business is never better, according to him. That true for you? That true for most guides you know?

    You think I’m trying to divide you… no one is better at that than the BFFIA. The way the regs came out was the most divisive way possible. Grey talking down to anyone with a concern and this anti-Abaco thing you guys are working on… man… I think you can take a look in the mirror to see who is being divisive.

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