Florida vs. The Bahamas

In that latest news story out of the Bahamas the comments section provides the usual entertainment in race-card playing and poor economics.

One comment seemed to say studies showing the economic impact of recreational fishing in Florida, valued at $800M, has to mean that the Bahamas industry is worth way more than the estimated $141M because the Bahamas has more flats.

So you do the math……Also really, only worth $141M from 5 years ago! What about Permit, Tarpon and Snook value? They say the Florida Keys flatsfishing is about $800M! Wow! Now take a look at Google and look at their flats to the Bahamas’!

This, of course, is idiotic. Yes… the Bahamas has more flats than Florida does. That is true, surely. However, Florida also has just shy of 20 million people vs. the Bahama’s 400K. That’s roughly 50x. There is also a vibrant fishing culture in Florida that allows anyone to fish in just about any way they want to. You don’t need a guide to go out and fish and the guides don’t own any spots that you, the out-of-state DIY angler, can’t fish if you get there first.

The idea that the Bahamian fishing industry has to be bigger than Florida’s, solely based on square-mileage is dumb. By that measure, the economy of New York City (304 square miles) must be dwarfed by that of Kazakstan (1M square miles). Guess what… that doesn’t work either. New York City has a GDP of about $1.3T vs. $231B for Kazakstan.

The Bahamian economy has a GDP of about $8.4B. Tourism accounts for about 60% of that amount.

Telling one whole group of anglers they, and their families, aren’t welcome in the Bahamas is a very poorly thought out plan and, luckily, it is all coming tumbling down. The odds these regulations are going to pass and become law diminish by the day as more and more people wake up to the economic disaster represented by these proposals.

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