Turns out, it’s a pretty impressive pile of scratch.
To determine the economic impact of the bonefishing industry to The Bahamas, the Bahamian Flats Fishing Alliance (BFFA) commissioned an in-depth study, which has just been released. The results were astounding: the total economic impact of flats fishing in The Bahamas is nearly $141 million annually! Even in a time when global recession has caused fishing-related tourism to drop 11.6% from 2007, the fishery continues to provide considerable economic value to this region. The results of this study provide strong evidence of the need for responsible conservation and management of this vitally important cultural resource.
You probably have guessed bonefish are valuable. $141M is certainly impressive (out of a total GDP of about $9B). Of course, something worth so much deserves a fair measure of protection and that was really the point of the study (read it here). From enforcement of existing laws protecting bonefish to land use decisions and water quality efforts, the Bahamian people can now put a number on exactly just how important is is to protect the Gray Ghosts.