Bahamas – where things stand now

OK, there was another meeting yesterday. This was a stakeholders meeting specifically about the proposed regulations and from what I hear it went much better than the Bahamas Guide meeting of last week.

There will be another meeting on July 13 for more input and then the proposals will be re-written. From there it goes for debate in the cabinet and then gets a vote. So, some time left and some hope on the horizon.

I’ll get more details out when I can, but here is what it sounds like so far.

  • An objective, easy to obtain license/permit seems to be in the cards. No getting your license from a guide who has no interest in giving you one.
  • Mother-ship operations run by non-Bahamians and not employing Bahamian guides are likely done. Not too many people have an issue with that, I certainly don’t. Seemed a massive abuse of the Bahamians to begin with.
  • Foreign-owned lodges aren’t going anywhere.
  • DIY – Still going to exist, but there may be some restrictions on DIY Exactly what that might look like remains to be seen. There could be some guide-only areas… but there might not be. I don’t think there are clear answers on this one yet.
  • I think second home owners with their own boats may be in the clear, but that isn’t too clear just yet. (Rod Hamilton is reporting that it is sorted)

In general it seems like there was some degree of stepping away from the ledge. I’ll write more about this when I get more details.

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  2. thanks for the update. sounds….better

  3. Doug Jeffries

    Thanks for the update and for tracking this issue so completely, Bjorn. One thought I had about the license issue. As I stated earlier, I have no problem with supporting a license / permit program in which the majority of the funds go directly back into protecting / supporting the fishery. But one other thing worth considering is the $20/day amount. That’s relatively high compared to most fresh and salt water license fee programs. That’s $120/week for a 6 day fishing week. I think something about half that is more comparable to existing programs.

  4. Thanks for posting. I didn’t take my computer to Nassau and can barely type on my phone. Today was another busy day and quite frankly, I am exhausted. I work my paying job tomorrow but after that I will try to update folks. The meeting did go well. A large array of stakeholders were able to give their input and the government listened. It seems as though they are agreeable on the big stuff. So we can hope that they do the right thing but things are by no means ‘sorted.’ There were so many folks and so much being said that Minister Gray will continue the consultation on July 13th for further input from those that want to be there. Until that time we need to keep sending our input into the government as we were told they are reading everything they receive.

  5. Thanks Doug. I think they are talking about something more reasonable and that the funds go to conservation. That’s where things are headed, we’ll see where they end up.

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