Is this thing coming for a vote? Part 2

Yesterday the Tribune published a story saying the flats regulation bill would hit the Cabinet in February.

This caught us all by surprise, since no one had heard a peep about the final draft getting released, much less it coming up for a vote. I made some inquiries and two distinct possibilities are emerging.

  1. Good ole’ Minister Gray has been super sneaky and the bill is getting ready for a February vote.
  2. Good ole’ Minister Gray is playing politics and wants to have something positive to talk about despite the fact nothing is actually happening.

Now, the worrywart in me fears #1, but the cynic in me sees #2 as the more likely of the two possibilities.

#2 seems more possible when you talk to folks out there (people who really shhould know) and they have not heard boo about this thing moving forward.

Another very non-scientific observation from a reader out in the Bahamas right now. He’s been going about this time for several years and this year he’s seen only one other angler, which is very different from years past. It is his belief that the talk about banning DIY has caused folks seen on the flats in years past to head elsewhere. It is just one data point, but it does tend to agree with what this side of the debate has been arguing for a long time, mainly that you can’t threaten and bully your visitors and expect them to still visit.

The unfortunate bit about Gray’s comments are that they come just as many anglers are looking at their 2016 to make plans. Gray throws doubt on all of that and it is a very simple thing right now for someone just to put a different destination into Kayak. Playing politics with the livelihood of the very people he is supposed to be representing is damn near criminal. He’s either an idiot or an asshole… maybe a little of column A and a little of column B.

I’ll have my own (wading) boots on the ground in another month and I will be asking a lot of questions when I get there. More answers will be forthcoming.

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  1. Bjorn,
    We have been here in Abaco for the last 5 weeks.
    Heard nothing.
    No responses yet on the Abaco Forum from anyone who has anything to say about yesterday’s Tribune article.

    Just waiting now…..

  2. Bjorn, I tried to call Minister Gray this morning to find out about the final draft he is referring to in the Tribune article. He is presently “off the island.” Cabinet is in session today so no other Ministers are available for comment. All other inquires to Fisheries and Tourism senior officials have had the same response; nobody has heard a word about the bill and nobody was aware of the Minister’s comments in the Tribune.

    I shared the Tribune article yesterday to keep all stakeholders current on the happenings here. Before everybody jumps to conclusions and starts condemning the Bahamas again please be patient and lets see what is actually transpiring. It may be possible that the final draft will be a fishing license with fishing as usual as statements from Director Braynen and Ministry of Tourism indicated in the fall. We can hope.

    I will update stakeholders as soon as further information is forthcoming.
    Cindy Pinder, VP & Sec.
    Abaco Fly Fishing Guides Association

  3. Thanks Cindy. The more I see on this the more I think #2 is really what is going on. The man just has no concept of what his comments will and are doing, the money the Bahamas is losing because he’s trying to stay relevant. It is a damn shame.

  4. East Coast Flyfisherman

    Thanks, Bjorn and Cindy for your insight. It is hard to trust politicians anywhere, and I have been following this story since it first came to light last year. The recent news has made me re-think my participation in a planned group trip to Andros in March. Even though my group is planning to fish out of a lodge, I object to the back-room way these proposed regulations have been created and the way they target traveling anglers.

    As a result of this most recent development, I am taking Cindy’s advice and being patient and seeing how it shakes out. That means I am not committing to the trip and that the $5,000 I was planning to spend in the Bahamas in March stays in my pocket.

    Tell Minister Gray and the BFFIA that there is a real cost to their maneuvering and efforts to extract more dollars from traveling anglers – if enough anglers contemplating the Andros trip do as I am doing and stay away, the trip will be cancelled and $40,000 less will flow into the Bahamas this year. It’s too bad, because the pain will be borne most heavily by the lovely family that runs the lodge, not Minister Gray.

  5. […] the part of the angling community in response to last year’s draft proposal. There have been rumors of a vote early this year, but it seems […]

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