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Rod Hamilton

September 14, 2017

Muddy Water in the Bahamas

I just finished reading a great article that was published in this month’s American Angler titled Muddy Water In The Bahamas by Miles Nolte.

His resume is extensive including working as a guide for Swallowtail Fly Fishing in Bozeman, author of The Alaska Chronicles plus holding down a faculty position at Montana State University.

I thought I should bring the article to everyone’s attention as Miles has been able to take the convulted craziness that has been going on in the Bahamas, capture the essence of the personalities involved, not be swayed by the intrigue and write a story that takes us from the beginning (which started innocently enough) through to the current state of the proposed legislation. And he has done it better then anyone else I have read on the subject.

If you want to sit down and read one article that covers the intricacies and back story on the state of the proposed Bahamian flats fishing legislation, pick up the most current issue of American Angler and read Muddy Water in the Bahamas.

With the permission of American Angler I have included a few paragraphs from the article.

“In its recommendations to the Ministry of Marine Resources, the BFFIA called for mandatory guide training programs to be managed and implemented by the association, a notion that effectively gives the BFFIA control over who does and doesn’t get guide licenses, and requires aspiring guides to pay the BFFIA for training.”

“Contrary to widespread speculation, there was no explicit language in the original draft of the proposed regulations that referred to DIY anglers. However, the BFFIA’s proposal to the ministry suggested zoning specific areas for unguided angling, and that local guides and lodges determine the perimeters of those zones, a clear threat to unguided angling. Additionally, the private-vessels provision, along with the expanded definition of fishing guide and confusion about obtaining fishing permits do seem to limit DIY. These changes created the perception, for some, that The Bahamas is no longer an inviting location for traveling fly anglers or foreigners with second homes within the island nation.”

“Another completely new element requires Bahamian citizens to purchase licenses for recreational fishing. This means that Bahamians, who earn $4/hour on average, would have to pay $100 per season to maintain the privilege of fishing the flats for fun in their spare time.”

Great articles Miles, thanks to American Angler for keeping us up to date.

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