I would like to draw your reader’s attention to the recently published draft Fisheries Resources Flats Fishing Regulations that are currently out for public comment on the government website. ( www.bahamas.gov.bs )
These proposed regulations create an unregulated monopoly for a few fishing guide operators and outlaw private individuals from fishing the flats (see draft regulation 4(8)). The regulations also put the cost of a year fishing permit at over $7,000.
As a foreign land owner that spends a lot of time and money in Abaco fishing the flats, maintaining and upgrading my home, car, and boat, buying food and enjoying local restaurants and shops, I find these regulations to be a declaration by the Bahamian government that they want foreign land owners and sportsman tourists to take their money and go fish in other countries instead.
These regulations are nothing more than a few fishing lodge owners attempting to establish a monopoly at the expense of all Bahamians. Do not allow this to happen.
If these regulations go into effect, the small number of guides and lodge operators will celebrate their monopoly by price gouging and other monopolistic behavior. They will quickly ruin the reputation of the Bahamas as a tourist friendly destination.
I would encourage all Abaconians to provide their comments to the Minister of Fisheries at firstname.lastname@example.org. The comment period is very short (as you would expect with regulations that only benefit a few well connected people) and ends June 26.
Treasure Cay, Abaco