No person shall use any spearfishing apparatus to fish — (a) within one mile of the coast at low water mark of New Providence; or (b) within one mile of the southern coast at low water mark of Freeport, Grand Bahama; or (c) within two hundred yards of the coast at low water mark of any other Family Island. – Ch 244-5-6
No person shall use a wire mesh trap to fish within the exclusive fishery zone unless the wire mesh has the following minimum size — (a) in the case of a hexagonal wire mesh, 1½ inches (greatest length of mesh); (b) in the case of welded or woven rectangular wire mesh, 1 inch by 2 inches, and one of the panels of the trap is made of a material that would deteriorate after use in water for a continuous period of not more than six weeks. Ch 244-5-8
Recreational fishing vessels are not permitted to have onboard at any time more than 249 lbs. of fishery resources. Above this amount is considered commercial fishing activity and a commercial licence is required.
No person shall use a net to fish within the exclusive fishery zone unless the net — (a) is a gill net, drag net, cast net or seine net; and (b) has a mesh the gauge of which is two inches minimum. (2) Subparagraph (b) of paragraph (1) shall not apply to — (a) nets used for the harvesting of cultured resources; or (b) hand nets used for capturing small species of fishery resource; or (c) nets used for catching goggle-eyes or members of the herring and silver-side families, and shall not have effect before the expiration of two years from the coming into operation of these Regulations. Ch 244-5-7
There are penalties for any violations of the fishing regulations of The Bahamas.
No person shall — (a) within two hundred yards of the coast at low water mark of New Providence or any Family Island fish for or take any fishery resource other than edible fish, edible conch or crawfish as food for himself and family in The Bahamas; (b) save as provided in paragraph (a), fish for or take by means of a net in the harbour or at the entrance to the harbour of any place in The Bahamas any resource other than the species known as goggle-eyes or passing jacks. – Ch 244-6-11
According to the Fisheries Resources Act, “Fishery Resource(s)” means:
Fish of any kind found in the sea (other than species of tuna, which in the course of their life cycle, spawn and migrate over great distances in waters of the ocean) and includes living organisms belonging to sedentary species, that is to say, organisms which, at the harvestable stage, either are immobile or under the seabed or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or the subsoil of the continental shelf.
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.