Boating enthusiasts from all around the world flock to the Bahamas to explore its crystal-clear waters, tropical beaches and abundant marine life. As a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts too, many boaters have wondered whether a fishing license is required in the Bahamas. In this article, we will take a closer look at the rules and regulations governing fishing in the Bahamas.
To start with, non-residents of the Bahamas are required to obtain a fishing license to engage in fishing activities in the country’s waters. However, this requirement applies only to those who intend to fish for non-consumptive purposes i.e., if you plan on catching and releasing fish, you will need a fishing license. In contrast, if you intend to engage in subsistence fishing, where you catch fish for consumption, then you do not need a permit.
The Bahamas Fishing Regulations 2009 outlines the specific species of fish that can be caught and the size limits for these species. It is also important to note that certain species, such as bonefish, are strictly catch and release, and any infraction could result in hefty fines or penalties. It is, therefore, crucial that you familiarize yourself with the regulations before embarking on any fishing trip.
The cost of a fishing license in the Bahamas varies depending on the length of stay and fishing location. For instance, a one-week license for non-commercial fishing in the main island of Grand Bahama costs around $20, while a permit for the Abaco Islands costs around $40 for the same length of stay. It is also possible to obtain a one-day license for those who want to fish for a shorter period.
Obtaining a fishing license in the Bahamas is relatively straightforward. One can acquire the license online, at a Bahamas Tourist Office or from a licensed fishing guide. To apply for the permit, you will be required to provide your name, nationality, date of birth, and passport number. You may also need to provide additional information such as the dates of your fishing trip and the location of your stay.
In summary, a fishing license is required for non-residents who intend to fish for non-consumptive purposes in the Bahamas. The cost of the license varies depending on location and length of stay. It is important to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations and species limits before embarking on a fishing trip to avoid any legal implications. The licensing process is easy, and obtaining a permit can be done online, at a Tourist Office, or through a licensed fishing guide. Happy fishing!