Grand Bahama Island – The Bahamas Weekly is pleased to present herewith, video coverage of The Bahamas National Trust’s Tuna Net Fishing Town Meeting, which took place Monday March 1st 2010. The focus of this standing room only debate could arguably be described as the most heated topic surrounding the preservation of our marine heritage since long line fishing.
The Bahamas Pelagic Aquaculture Tuna Fishing Program as proposed by David and Paul Mellor has sparked vigorous debate over the last couple of weeks. The Mellors claim of sustainability and conservation in the harvest and farming of tuna in growing cages in the ocean is an emotionally charged topic throughout the international maritime community and was vigorously debated.
This town meeting moderated by Dr. Pamela Etuk was much anticipated as both panelists and audience alike openly discussed the merits of purse seine netting and its ecological and economic affects on our tourism based archipelago nation. The audience included representatives from The Billfish Foundation, other Bahamian Aquaculture programs, marine biologists, sport fisherman, tour operators, taxi drivers, divers and a multitude of concerned citizens from various walks of life.
Although the government has stated that they are not minded to permit the use of purse seine or net fishing within the waters of The Bahamas, the Mellors persist in presenting their unpopular venture even in the face of overwhelming global contempt.
This dynamic video presentation has been divided into two parts. Part 1 is 54 minutes and Part 2 is 5 minutes and contains a contribution by Grand Bahamian Terry Pace.
Meeting coordinator, Karin Sanchez - Regional Branch Chairman of BNT
Participants: Dr. David P. Philipp - Principal Scientist - INH/INRS, University of Illinois and
History Survey in the Institute for Natural Resources Sustainability of
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Chair, Board of Directors - Fisheries Conservartion Foundation; Godfrey R. Waugh - sports fisherman; Vice-President Waugh Construction (Bahamas) Limited; Paul and David Mellor - entrepreneurs; Fred Riger - President of the Grand Bahama Dive Association; Pericles Alexander Maillis - represents BNT