The Bahamas Bans Commercial Shark Fishing!!!

The Government of the Bahamas has made a landmark decision in declaring a complete ban on any and all commercial shark fishing in Bahamian waters. This new legislation essentially creates a "shark sanctuary" that extends for more than 240,000 square miles throughout this island nation.

The shark regulations that were signed include:
· A prohibition on possessing, fishing for or landing shark or shark parts.
· A prohibition on the sale of shark, shark parts or shark products within The Bahamas or within the Exclusive Fishery Zone of The Bahamas.
· A prohibition on export or import of shark, shark parts or shark products.
· A research permit allowance: A person who wishes to fish for, have in his possession or export any shark or shark parts for educational, scientific or research purposes, shall apply to the Minister for a permit.
· A catch and release allowance: A person who hooks or catches a shark while fishing recreationally, shall release the same into the sea unharmed.
· An incidental catch allowance: A person may keep a shark if it is incidentally caught and used only for artisanal purposes.

Sharks are a crucial part of the marine ecosystem, and are largely responsible for the healthy reefs and fish populations still found throughout the Bahamas. Shark related tourism also brings almost $80 million to the Bahamian economy each year.

Bimini Sands Activities Director, Katie Grudecki, donated several photos to the Bahamas National Trust for their shark campaign, and we're thrilled to hear that the work of several people paid off in creating this important new set of laws for the Bahamas.

For more information about this new legislation, check out this link from the Nassau Guardian.