The Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA) is a nationwide organization of stakeholders in the fly fishing industry. It encompasses a wide reaching range of members such as fishing guides, lodges, trade organizations, conservation groups, anglers, fishing enthusiasts, second home owners and visitors and is incorporated as a non-profit organization.
The BFFIA was started to establish solidarity among all stakeholders. Its goals are:
- to provide advocacy and strong lobby,
- to influence favourable public policy
- to facilitate training and research
- to promote conservation and efficiency and best practices in fish handling.
A steering committee of approximately 10 members from all over the Bahamas was appointed at a general fishing meeting. This committee has worked to put the organization together and incorporate a membership drive. It is now set for its first annual general meeting in Nassau on July 19 at which time members will vote on board members and officers and decide on an agenda of the most imminent concerns.
The board will start working with government and other concerned parties to find solutions to various challenges such as fishing regulation changes, marketing of fly fishing to include the Ministry of Tourism and all islands of The Bahamas and to create progress with conservation efforts and research.
The mission of the BFFIA it is to further the interest of all stakeholders in the Bahamas fly fishing sector through solidarity, advocacy, scholarship and strategic marketing and to serve as a representative voice of the industry through its members.
The organization has a full-time executive director in Nassau, Benjamin Pratt, who oversees committees and the day-to-day business of the organization. He also ensures that the work of the board is accomplished.
Anyone involved in the fly fishing industry is encouraged to become a member by filling out an application form and paying a $25 fee. Information and forms may be found online at www.bffia.com or from any of the following:
Department of Marine Resources, 2nd. floor Government Complex, Marsh Harbour.
Mr. David Knowles, Bahamas National Trust, Marsh Harbour Office.
Mrs. Kristin Williams, Friends of the Environment.
Mr. Leon Pinder, Department of Marine Resources, North Abaco, Cooper’s Town.
Mrs. Cindy Pinder, Auskell Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Marsh Harbour or Casuarina Point, South Abaco.