I’m currently attending iCAST in Orlando, Florida and took a break from the show floor at 2:00 today to attend the Press Conference held by the Bahamian Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources to discuss The Proposed Legislation For The Flats Fishing Industry.
Rena Glinton, Permanent Secretary made the presentation where she announced what everyone in attendance hopes will be the final legislation to be introduced.
In a nut shell, most if not all of the previously annonunced draconian intiatives have been discarded with the new set of regulations to be more or less in line with what other countires encouraging visiting anglers have adopted.
This would include an on-line licensing system with the weekly license fee estimated at $20 and the annual license around $60.
All self-guided fishing to carry on as before, no limitations.
Those with their own boat can still continue to fish without the services of a guide, providing no more then one person at a time is actually angling.
Guides will need to be certified, but that process will not be controlled by a single association.
A conservation fund will be established and funded by a portion of the angling license fees.
We can agree these are all sensible regulations and look a lot like what was conceptually contemplated two years ago.
So, lets put the past behind us and look forward to once again be welcomed to fish one of the most beautiful countries in the world.