(Left to right) Janeen Bullard, Parks Planner - Bahamas National Trust; Kelly Meister, Dolphin Encounters Ltd.; Natasha Authur, BREEF; Jared Dillet, Sub-Chairman, The National Coastal Awareness Committee; Hon. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation; Hon. Lawrence Cartwright, Minister of Agriculture; Casuarina McKinney, Executive Director - BREEF; Earlston McPhee, Chairman, The National Coastal Awareness Committee.
outside of Coastal Awareness Month, the Coastal Awareness Committee
continues to stress the need for Bonefish protection in The Bahamas,
pointing out that Bonefishing contributes more approximately $140 million
to the economy.
Mcphee, chairman of The National Coastal Awareness Committee, said law
enforcement and education are important factors in the protection of
Bonefish and the $140 million per year industry.
Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace and Minister of Agriculture
Lawrence S. Cartwright were presented with the committee’s new Bonefishing
protection poster recently. Minister Vanderpool-Wallace said that Bonefishing
is an important factor in Family Island tourism and it is a growing
and lucrative industry that needs protection.
Dillet, the sub chairman of The National Coastal Awareness Committee,
said that Bonefish are given some protection in The Bahamas, and just
like Grouper and Conch, they benefit the economy. Mr. Dillet said
Bahamians need to be educated on the issue. He said that it is
illegal to catch Bonefish by net. If caught breaking these protection
laws, one can be fined $3000 or one year in prison. He added that
some people ignore the catch-and-release rule by selling Bonefish at
$10 per pound. If catch-and-release is obeyed, one Bonefish could be
worth thousands of dollars since sport fishermen travel to The Bahamas
and spend thousands of dollars to fish for them.
Cartwright said that with the new protection laws, room must be left
for Bahamians who may catch a few Bonefish for consumption. He said
just like Grouper season, Bahamians need to be made aware of new size
was observed as Coastal Awareness Month.