Bahamas mandating

Critics also wonder how enforcement of new conservation legislation would be paid for.

Acknowledging that the unique geography of the Bahamas could make enforcement of conservation laws particularly costly, supporters of the bill look to the Consolidated Fund and suggest that the government should perhaps set aside a portion of licence dollars from the beginning for enforcement.

What they wonder now is, will the acrimony result in a downturn in the tourism on which the economy depends?

“I do feel the negative press is having an impact on all the lodges in the Bahamas,” says Miriam Cartwright, owner of Greenwich Creek Lodge, near Deadman’s Cay, Long Island. If anglers are required to use a guide to fish with every day of their trip, this would make the trip much more expensive.” She wants visiting anglers to understand that “small lodges like Greenwich Creek Lodge operate independent of the guides.

Critics suggest that the proposed legislation is vaguely worded and short on specifics.

A 2010 study (The Economic Impact of Flats Fishing in The Bahamas by Tony Fedler) found that 1 million was generated by flats fishing in the Bahamas.” Locals might believe the bill will affect angling tourists alone, but AFFGA argues that any legislation that DIY anglers perceive as hostile to foreigners or foreign-owned interests will inevitably provoke a backlash.The anglers who don’t come to the Bahamas also won’t patronise restaurants, car rental agencies and second home rentals.Established by an Act of Parliament in 1959, the Bahamas National Trust is mandated with the conservation of natural and historic resources of The Bahamas.This responsibility is achieved primarily through in-situ protection.

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