Bahamas Regulations – Light at the end of the tunnel edition


I mean… is there anything certain?

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

The BFFIA was making noise about a possible repeal of the fishing regs, because, ya know, that is possible.

If you want to help with your own shovel full of sand to bury this horrible pile of regulation, there are some things you can do (from the AFFGA).

Please let your voice be heard TODAY by writing the Hon. Renward Wells, Minister of Fisheries, with a copy to Dr. Hon. Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minster, and Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of


Tourism and tell them that:
I FULLY SUPPORT The current flats fishing regulations being suspended immediately UNTIL A LICENSE CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AND SENSIBLE REGULATION IS REWRITTEN that actually protects the fishery via conservation measures, protects Bahamian guides, and welcomes visiting anglers to the Bahamas.
PLEASE also mention that the attempt for a national fishing organization was a complete and utter failure and BFFIA needs to be wound up as they have made a colossal mess for the Bahamas and they are not recognized as a reasonable nor credible voice in the fly fishing industry.
You may also add your own anecdotal evidence but keep your letters short so they are more likely to be read.
Dr. Minnis’s administration wants to do the right thing but they have joined us in the middle of this journey. Your input will let them know how their constituents and the angling public feel about the matter.
Kindly address your comments to the Minister of Fisheries and cc: the rest of the government authorities below as well as me. – Hon. Renward Wells, Minister of Fisheries – Dr. Hon. Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minister – Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism – Cindy Pinder, VP & Sec., AFFGA
I’m going to get my email out today. It will read like this.
Dear Hon. Renward Wells,
I am writing today to lend my support and voice to the many other voices asking you to suspend the current flats fishing regulations until they can be re-written and until a license can be purchased on-line.

I got pulled into the debate about the regulations this last year in part because of the politicization of the process the produced the current regulations. The president of the BFFIA divided the industry and alienated the anglers to the harm of the both the industry and the nation of the Bahamas.

I love the Bahamas. I’ve made several trips to the Bahamas from my home in California. I’ve visited Grand Bahama, Andros, Long Island and Abaco. I’ve made some of my most enduring memories in the Bahamas. The last family trip I took with my mother was to Abaco before she died of cancer. The memories of the Bahamas are good, even when the skies were cloudy and the wind was fierce.

It was for those reasons I opposed the regulations, which I knew would hurt the people of the Bahamas, who sometimes have very little material wealth to set next to their immense natural wealth. I knew this would hurt. I knew the rhetoric coming out of the BFFIA would hurt and the protectionist xenophobia behind many drafts of the regulations would alienate anglers.

I urge you, as you look forward, to not follow the straight party-line process that the PLP and the BFFIA did. Include other voices. Include other view points. Listen to the scientists. Listen to the economists. Listen to as many as you can. Learn from the experiences of your neighbors. In short, do all the things that didn’t happen the first time around.

It also might sound a bit like I’m asking you to do what we in the US aren’t doing too much of in our own politics at the moment, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Aim higher. Serve your people, all of them, regardless of party.

I look forward to seeing what you do here and I wish you only wisdom and success. Sorry this is such a long email.

Editor of Bonefish on the Brain, passionate angler.



  1. Well said!

  2. Yours was better than mine, nice job!

    Mr. Wells, as an American who frequently visited and fished the Bahamas in the past, I write today in support of any action which has the effect of suspending the current flats fishing regulations until such time that an effective process of purchasing on-line licenses is in place. Indeed, the legislation in its entirety needs to be rewritten in a clear and well-intentioned way – one that truly supports the sustainability of the fishery and promotes the ideals of sound eco-tourism. I have followed closely the egregious actions of the former administration – which to me were designed to hand control of this important aspect of the Bahamian economy over to political allies who clearly do not have the best interests of their fellow Bahamians or the fly-fishing community at heart. I can tell you that I will not fish with a guide who is associated with the BFFIA; I do not recognize them as a national organization capable of fairly representing fly-fishing interests and feel they are hostile to me as a visiting fisherman. I can only imagine the damage their political agenda – for which the protection of Bahamian resources appeared to be merely a convenient soundbite – has done to the Bahamian economy. Certainly my wife and I have not visited the Bahamas since the turmoil began, and we will continue to fish elsewhere until the new rules and processes are reasonably clarified. We would certainly support reasonable legislation which actually protects the fishery via conservation measures, protects Bahamian guides, and welcomes visiting anglers to the Bahamas.

    Thank you for the opportunity to present my thoughts on this important matter.


    Chuck Flournoy
    Lynchburg, Virginia USA

  3. I don’t think scrupulous people will buy into this propaganda.

    How can you ask the people to mislead the Bahamian government as if they are illiterate and care not to empower their fellow Bahamians.

    Why can’t you be honest. Why make up lies and say the BFFIA is a total failure nor recognized nor credible? You give no facts nor examples in the main-time you’re asking people to lie in their letters towards the government.

    In my opinion the real reason why the legislation was passed is because GOD DON’T SLEEP. Did not your mother teach you before she died of cancer that HONESTY is always the BEST POLICY?

    Remove yourself from personal judgments and try to focus on the real reason why you feel the need interrupt progress in the Bahamas.

  4. I already sent my letter!

  5. Nice to see my post is making the Prescott Press Tour rounds.

    I see you’ve swallowed the bait. Sorry to see that.

    There are very good and fine and decent Bahamians. Of this I am absolutely sure. The ones responsible for the regulations are not them.

    I have been and will always be 100% honest in what I write here, and I’ve written a lot. I proclaim my biases and my preferences, so yes, my mother did teach me a fair bit. Thanks for asking.

  6. It’s been quite interesting watching the ‘All for me, Baby’ crowd freak out on social media. Mr Smith’s dog-whistling has certainly riled up the usual suspects but anybody who looks at this issue rationally realizes it needs a do-over. The MP for South Abaco, Mr. James Albury has done a fantastic job of making this a priority. I can state that on the campaign trail, every single Bahamian involved in this industry wanted these rules scrapped. We had one voter who had been PLP since 1982 change solely for this reason. So thanks for helping us push – I think things will be very clear, soon.

  7. […] Read between the lines at bonefish-on-the-brain . . . […]

  8. James Tollefson

    the guides forgot who butters their bread and the bread of their friends and relatives. why would i come back to the Bahamas to be hassled ? really ? My wife and I and family have gone to other locations where the people are welcoming and the fishing is serene. if you live on a pretty rock, you better be prepared to act like you want visitors to return, again and again. I feel bad for the conk salad guys , and the bartenders and others who are missing our dollars and our friendship….

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