Get the Latest on the Brouhaha Over New Bahamas Bonefish Regulations

Bonefish are a huge tourism draw for The Bahamas, and some worry that the new rules will keep anglers away.
Photo by Sandy Hays

On MidCurrent today, my friend Beau Beasley published the second part of his “The Battle for Bonefish and the Future of the Bahamas” feature, and it’s well worth your time to read both parts. Beau made a lot of phone calls and approached the story as a reporter, rather than as an advocate for one side or the other:

This article examines critics’ complaints about the proposed measure, which include:

  • Its protectionism has resulted in more than a little bad press for the island nation;
  • The legislation talks a good game about conservation but is woefully short on specifics;
  • No mechanism is in place in the legislation to account for the funds collected from the sales of fishing licenses; and
  • It severely curtails do-it-yourself (DIY) fishing.
  • The article also examines ongoing conservation work in the Bahamas and provides an overview of the bill’s possible future.

The result is a “just the facts” story that should, at the very least, clarify the issues for you. For the more partisan approach, make sure you read the comments below Part 1!

Click here for Part 1 of the story and here for Part 2.

4 thoughts on “Get the Latest on the Brouhaha Over New Bahamas Bonefish Regulations”

  1. I don’t understand the people making a big deal out of this. It’s their country so it’s their rules if you don’t like them fish somewhere else.

  2. We fished for 10 days on Abaco in June. If regs change we won’t come back. We rented two houses near Cherokee Sound. I feel bad for the locals of the island that depend on the American dollars. It won’t effect the high dollar places as much as the avg person. We fished with both guides and our own. I wish Orvis would just OUT the few high end lodge owners who are pushing for this…..let the fishing community know who among them is deciding to not let DIY tourist fish. Then we can choose to support them or not. Fairly simple…..Bryan from Texas

  3. Bryan,
    The proposed legislation was written by the Bahamanian Attorney General, and was just recently made public. There are not as you say “a few high end lodges who are pushing this.” In fact, one lodge owner l spoke to yesterday is doing all he can to fight it. He is afraid that visiting DIY anglers just like you will act just like you’ve indicted and cease to come to the Bahamas. They fear this will be dreadful for all the local businesses that benefit from DIY anglers, but aren’t in the fishing business.

    Please take the time to read the two articles, and I think it will be more clear to you. If not, please post your question in the comment section and I will try to respond.

    Beau Beasley

  4. Good morning Beau,
    I am a keen fly fisherman from England who has been visiting the US and the Bahamas out Islands for the last 15 years or more. I am planning a trip to Long Island in November this year as a vacation for myself and my wife.
    Typically, I fish most days, ussually for a couple of hours when the tide is incoming as well as a couple of guided trips with local guide. I am quite late this this debate, although I had read about pending legislation, proposed to protect the fishing industry and marine eco systems in Bahamas.
    Having read read part 1 and part 2 od the proposed bill, I am unsure where this leaves me. As a “cassual” bonefisherman who combines a holiday in a BHamian out Island with some fly fishing (always from the shore when not fishing with a guide) am I breaking any laws?
    I have no issue with purshasing a permit if this is now a requirement, but I would like to be able to relax both when. Fishing and enjoying everything else the Islands have to offer.
    Travelling from the UK to the Bahamas each year is not a cheap business, but I had at least taken solice in the fact that as well as going to onethe most beutiful places on this earth, I was supporting local busineses, such as car rental, restrurants and bars, ferries, and grocery stores – not to mention accommodation rental.
    Are you able to give me any advise concerning my rights to fish from the shore as “DIY” fisherman during my stay in Long Island ?
    Thank you in advance.

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