All Bahamian vessels intending to engage in commercial fishing in The Bahamas must apply for a commercial fishing license. Every foreign state with which The Bahamas has entered into a fishery treaty shall submit an application for a license to the Minister before the first day of January of each year in respect of every fishing vessel wishing to fish in the exclusive fishery zone. – Chapter 244, page 7, section 9
All Bahamian owned vessels over 20 feet in length engaged in commercial fishing must have a valid commercial fishing license.
According to the Fisheries Resources Act “commercial” fishing means;
The fishing for any fishery resource for the purpose of subsequent sale whether the person fishing for the same does so on a full-time basis or parttime basis.
CATCH LIMITS & CLOSED SEASONS
- Harvested conch must have a well-formed flared lip.
- Annual closed season: April 1 – July 31.
- Minimum Tail length of 5.5”.
- Possession of egg bearing females and or removing eggs is prohibited.
- Use of compressors is restricted to the harvest of crawfish from August 1- March 3 within depth range of 30’-60’ and requires a permit.
- Annual closed season: Nassau Grouper: Dec. 1 – Feb 28.
- Grouper and rockfish must weigh at least 3lbs.
- Netting bonefish is prohibited
- The purchase and sale of bonefish is prohibited
- Annual closed season: June 1 – October 15.
- Capture, possession or sale of fresh stone crab is prohibited during the closed season.
- Possession or sale of stone crab claws measuring less than 4” is prohibited.
PROHIBITED FISHING GEAR AND METHODS
Use of any of the following is prohibited in Bahamian waters:
- Bleach or other noxious or poisonous substances
- Firearms or explosives
- Scuba gear spear guns.
- Marine mammals: capture or molestation is prohibited.
- Corals: harvest is prohibited.
- Marine turtles: harvest, possession, purchase or sale of turtle, turtle parts and/or eggs and interfering with nests is prohibited.
- Sharks: sale, import and export of sharks, shark parts and shark product is prohibited.