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Monday, 18 March 2013 22:06

The Bahamas

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Quick Facts:

  • % Contribution to GDP: 1.0% (2008) est.
  • Fishing Area: Shelf (116 550 sq. km.)
  • EEZ: 64 000 sq. km.
  • Fish Production: 4 521 mt (2008)
  • Fish Value: B$73.9 million (2008)
  • Fish Exports: 2 431 mt (2008)
  • Fish Exports Value: B$82.1 million (2008)
  • Fish Imports: 1 930 mt (2008)
  • Fish Imports Value: B$14,502
  • Per Capita Fish Consumption (kg): 11.9
  • Number of Fishers: 9,300 (2005 Fisheries Census)
  • Fish Vendors Permits: 23 (2008) Nassau, The Bahamas
  • Fish Processors: 11 (2008)
  • Fish Exporters: 18 (2008)
  • Number of Importers: N/A
  • Number of Aquaculture Farms: Nil
  • Number of Aquaculture Farmers: Nil
  • Fishing Gear Types: Nets, Hook & Line; Impaling Gear (Hawaiian Sling & Spear); Wire Pots and Wooden Traps; and Casitas/Condominiums and Hooks
  • Subsidies: Duty free concessions on fishing boats, bonefishing skiffs, outboard engines, diesel engines, materials for fish pots/traps and assembled traps, freezing units and insulation for fishing vessels, reverse osmosis and ice making machines for fishing vessels and navigational equipment.

Note: Rate of Exchange – B$1 = US$1


  1. In CY2008, total fishery product production in The Bahamas was 9 176 metric tons (mt). Total landings was 4 521mt valued at B$73.9 million, the difference in weight between production and landings resulting primarily from the fact most crawfish are tailed at sea and the head, which represents two thirds the weight of the animal, is discarded.
  2. Frozen crawfish tails accounted for 50.8% of total fishery product landings and 81.3% of the total value of all fishery product landings in CY2007. The value of frozen crawfish tails accounted for 94.4% of total fishery product and resource exports from The Bahamas during the same period. Fishery products refer to edible marine produce, while fishery resource refers to non edible products/resources.
  3. In CY2008, scalefish landings totaled 1 333mt and represented 9.4% of the total value of all fishery product landings. Snappers accounted for 20.7% of all scalefish landings with a total value of B$4.6 million.
  4. In CY2008, the conch export quota was approved at 181mt. Eight (8) special export licences to export the product were issued. Total exports amounted to 159mt with a value of $2.0 million. All exports were to the United States.
  5. Eleven (11) sponge export licenses and two (2) shell export licenses were issued during CY2008. The total value of sponge exports was B$828,680 and all shell exports B$28,568.
  6. In 2008, charges were brought against twenty-seven Bahamians for violation of the Fisheries Rules and Regulations. Charges included possession of undersized crawfish, possession of egg bearing crawfish, possession of undersized grouper, possession of Nassau Grouper during the closed season, possession of turtle during the closed season, use of illegal apparatus (air compressors) out of season and possession of noxious chemicals on board their fishing vessel. Fines levied against persons charged amounted to $23,000.00.
  7. Four (4) foreign vessels were arrested in Bahamian waters in CY2008 for poaching. All of the vessels were from the Dominican Republic. All arrests were made in the southern and southeastern Bahamas namely, Cay Lobos, Guinchos Cay, the Brown Bank and Inagua. Charges included illegal fishing in The Bahamas, Long Line fishing and possession of fresh Nassau Grouper during the closed season. Charges were dropped against one of the vessels; a $30,000 fine was levied against the captain of another vessel and his vessel, fishing gear and fishery resources confiscated. The remaining two cases are pending in The Bahamas.
  8. Fishing for Nassau Grouper in The Bahamas was observed for three months commencing 1 December 2008 and concluding 28 February 2009. During the 2007/2008 Nassau Grouper spawning season the fishery was closed for a period of two and a half (2½) months from 15 December 2007 to 28 February 2008.
  9. CY 2008 was a very active year in relation to the ongoing work toward the establishment of a Network of Marine Protected Areas in The Bahamas. The goal for the year was to reassess all the proposed areas for the establishment of marine protected areas and collect GPS coordinates for the boundaries of each; and eventually after further consultation with stakeholders in the respective areas submit the list to the Cabinet of The Bahamas for final approval and declaration. In December, the Cabinet of The Bahamas concluded the first sites to be designated in the Network would be North Bimini (with some exceptions), South Berry Islands and the designated site in the Exumas from Jewfish Cays to mainland Georgetown, Exuma.
  10. Lionfish continues to be a lingering concern for the Department of Marine Resources as this predator continues to reproduce rapidly and have begun to consume fish that is food for the Nassau Grouper and other members of the grouper family. Evidence to date indicates the Lionfish has been preying upon species of fish that is consumed by Bahamians. The department continues in its joint effort with the College of The Bahamas to study the Lionfish and learn the ways of the fish in order to deplete its population. The Lionfish could be used as food. The department continues its work with fishers to derive some economic benefits from the fish, which could assist in cutting down their numbers because of their rapid reproduction.

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