Currently on the desk of the prime minister of the Bahamas are two proposals which seek to expand and create new national park lands that would protect vital bonefish and tarpon habitat. One proposal would expand the Grand Bahama national park system, while the other would establish new protections for areas of Abaco.
As part of the Bahamas Initiative, the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) has been working with the Fisheries Conservation Foundation and Cape Eleuthera Institute to provide data to support the efforts protect habitats that bonefish, tarpon and other species use for feeding and spawning. BTT is asking anglers around the globe to make their voices heard in support of these proposals.
Bahamas bonefishing is world-reknowned and is an important driver of the Bahamian economy -- to the tune of $141 million dollars annually -- making habitat protection not only crucial to the conservation of bonefish as a sport fishing resource, but as an economic one as well.
The petition to establish protections on Abaco was put forth by the Bahamas National Trust, Friends of the Environment and The Abaco Fly Fishing Guides Association, and would protect areas that include essential bonefish habitat in The Abaco Marls, Cross Harbour, and East Abaco Creeks.
Proposed expansion of the Grand Bahama national park system includes expansion of the existing Peterson Cay National Park and Lucayan National Park as well as the establishment of East Grand Bahama and Northshore/Gap National Park.
Anglers and others that wish to support the proposals can do so by signing petitions currently slated for delivery to the Bahamian prime minister. Both petitions can be signed online. Visit bahamasparks.org and thepetitionsite.com for more information.