The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is an organization I hold in high regard. They are the stewards and watchers on the wall for the species we love and the places they live. They are, as the saying goes, “good people.”
Being that they are good people and they do a lot of work in the Bahamas and have developed many relationships there over the years, I was happy to see their more detailed recommendations for regulations to protect and preserve Bahamian sport-fishing in a sustainable way for the long haul.
In fact, it is so well reasoned and well crafted I am nearly 100% positive that these points of recommendation will be rejected, probably in whole.
The fundamental reason these points will be rejected (or, more likely, just ignored) is that the move to regulate flats fishing has little to nothing to do with conserving the fisheries. Sure, there is a lot of talk about how these regulations are designed to ensure the fishery will be there for future generations, but this appears to mean “it will be here for future generations because we are going to get rid of all the anglers.”
The government has made noise about “consultation,” but they have selected the most radical people to take their advice from and have ignored the input of so many important stakeholders.
The government would do well to listen to this bit of advice from BTT if they want to find a sane way to regulate the industry and preserve the fishery for future generations, as they say they do.
I have no confidence Minister Gray or Prescott Smith will take any of BTT”s suggestions because their true motivations do not appear to align with passing sane regulations.
I’d love to be proven wrong.