(From thebahamasweekly.com) Nassau, Bahamas- Long-line fishing and the commercial harvesting of all turtles will be prohibited in Bahamian waters, Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister Larry Cartwright confirmed. Addressing a Department of Marine Resources workshop on Monday, he unveiled “additional realistic and concrete steps taken to address issues impacting the supply of fisheries.”
Mr Cartwright confirmed that the prohibition against the commercial harvesting of all marine turtles starts January 1, and a total ban comes into effect April 1.
Harvesting of Nassau groupers during their vulnerable spawning period will continue to be prohibited and, the Fisheries Regulations are to be amended to better protect the bonefish and other important commercial species, he said.
Work continues on the establishment of the first five Marine Reserve Networks, said Mr Cartwright.
He pointed to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This includes foreign, commercial and recreational poaching; unreported catches by fishers to help in the development of adequate management plans; and activities and gear that can negate efforts at sustainable development.
Illicit dumping and the emptying of bilges at sea; damage to coral reefs by anchors and grounded vessels; and the use of chemicals in harvesting continue to negatively impact the marine environment, he said.
And, global warming and climate change and the increasing frequency of hurricanes, cause displacements of natural feeding grounds and habitats, he said.
(By Gladstone Thurston)