The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is encouraging both local and visiting fishermen to educate themselves concerning the boundaries of the Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park which is a no-take area, as Wardens will be enforcing the rules.
This 2100-acre area became a protected land and sea national park in 1972 because of the extensive reef system. This protects coral reef habitats, underwater caves and sea bird nesting areas.
The Trust is aware of the lack of enforcement in the park and, after consultation in 2011 with commercial fishermen who used the area, a concession was agreed allowing them to harvest from their condos at that time, artificial habitats set out by fishermen, during the 2011/2012 crawfish season after which they were to be removed permanently from that area.
However, BNT Abaco Director and Warden David Knowles noted that since that time he has stopped a number of people fishing the area. He said that while most people are aware of the protected area, most seem to be unaware of where the Park’s boundaries extend to.
He noted that the Trust has pamphlets outlining the boundaries of this and other land and sea parks throughout Abaco which can be obtained at their office on Pole Line Drive in Marsh Harbour or viewed online at https://bnt.bs/pelican-cays-land-and-sea-park/.