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Bahamas Fishing

Play by the rules and follow our Bahamas Fishing laws. 

Department of MARINE RESOURCES Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources P. O. Box N 3028 Nassau, Bahamas

MA&MR/FIS/41 3 January 2008


This document has been prepared by the Department of Marine Resources to assist the public in their understanding of the Fisheries Regulations that concern sportsfishing in The Bahamas.

The following excerpts from the Fisheries Regulations include the amendments made on 19 October 2007.

Questions or comments may be referred to the Department of Marine Resources at 242-393-1777 (telephone), 242-393-0238 (facsimile) or fisheries@bahamas.gov.bs (email).


46. (1) A person who wishes to organize or hold a sportsfishing event or tournament shall apply to the Minister for a permit to organize or hold such sportsfishing event or tournament.

(2) An application made under paragraph (1), shall be –
(a) in Form 17 in the First Schedule; and
(b) accompanied by a copy of the proposed rules for the sportsfishing event or tournament.

(3) Where the Minister approves an application for a sportsfishing event or tournament, he shall –

(a) issue a permit to the organizer or the tournament director as set out in Form 18 in the Fist Schedule, specify the terms and conditions of the approval, including the payment of fees as specified in the Third Schedule; and

(b) issue tournament decals to the organizer or tournament director for each participant in the sportsfishing event or tournament and such decal must be attached at the bottom of the sportsfishing permit granted under regulation 27.

(4) In this Part, “sportsfishing” means foreign fishing within the exclusive fishery zone for sporting purposes or purposes other than commercial.

47. (1) The owner or operator of a vessel shall not permit the vessel to be engaged in sportsfishing unless the owner or operator of the vessel-

(a) holds a permit granted by the Minister under this regulation authorising the vessel to be so engaged; and

(b) pays for the permit the fee prescribed in the Third Schedule.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to Bahamian owned and licensed charter vessels or a boat which is normally towed by or carried on a vessel to which that paragraph applies.

(3) An application for a permit under paragraph (1) shall be made to the Minister in Form 7 in the First Schedule and be submitted-

(a) in the case of a vessel entering The Bahamas for the purpose of sportsfishing, to the customs officer at the Port of Entry at which the vessel first called;

(b) in any other case to the office of the Director of Fisheries.
(4) The permit granted under paragraph (3) shall be in Form 8 in the First Schedule.

(5) A foreign vessel engaged in a sportsfishing event or tournament shall be in possession of a valid permit granted under paragraph (3).

(6) No person shall sell or attempt to sell fishery products derived from sportsfishing under the terms and conditions of a permit granted under paragraph (3).

No vessel shall engage in a sportsfishing event or tournament or tournament unless the owner or operator of that vessel –

(a) has been issued a tournament decal by the organizer or tournament director: and

(b) has attached the tournament decal at the bottom of the sportsfishing permit granted under this regulation.

48. (1) In sportsfishing the following rules apply-
(a) a person shall fish by the traditional method of angling with a hook or lure attached to a line held in

the hand or attached to a pole, rod or reel;

(b) a person, unless otherwise authorised by the respective permit, shall not use a spear, a fish trap, or a net other than a landing net;

(c) each vessel shall use not more than 6 rods or reels unless the operator is in possession of a permit authorising the use of more rods or reels;

(d) any migratory fishery resource (such as Kingfish, Dolphin, Tuna or Wahoo) that is caught shall not in total exceed eighteen fish aboard the vessel at any time;

(e) any Billfish (such as Marlins, Sailfish or Swordfish) caught shall be returned to the sea unharmed except where landed under the terms of an approved sportsfishing event or tournament; and

(f) no vessel have on board at any time – 

(i) turtle

(ii) conchs, exceeding six;

(iii) crawfish, exceeding ten; or

(iv) other demersal fishery resources exceeding sixty pounds or twenty fish.

(2) The limitation specified in (1)(d), (e) and (f) shall also apply to a Bahamian vessel engaged in fishing for purposes other than commercial by persons who are not Bahamians.

(3) A fishery inspector shall be permitted to enter and inspect a vessel that has engaged in sportsfishing. (4) For the purposes of this regulation permanent residents would be treated the same as Bahamians. Part XV

70. (1) Without prejudice to the foregoing regulations, no person shall for commercial purposes export any fishery product or fishery resource, sea-shell or coral unless-

(a) he holds a licence from the Minister on behalf of the product or resource he wishes to export; (b) the product or resource is presented to a fisheries inspector at the time of exportation; and
(c) the export duty on such product or resource as may be specified in the Second Schedule is paid.

(2) Subject to paragraph (1) no person shall take out of The Bahamas migratory fishery resource which consists in total of more than six Kingfish, Dolphin and Wahoo or ten pounds of conch or crawfish or more than twenty pounds of other demersal fishery resource.

(3) Subject to paragraph (1), a foreign vessel engaged in sportsfishing for which a permit was issued under regulation 47 shall, on leaving The Bahamas, be allowed to export the amount of fishery products aboard that vessel in accordance with the catch limits under regulation 48.