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January 26, 2011


larry smith

I am told by the Bahamas National Trust that a research team surveyed grouper schools at Long Island and Andros recently with very little success. At Long Island they found only 200 groupers - whereas thousands or tens of thousands were expected. At high cay Andros they found two individual groupers - not two schools, just 2 groupers.

The information is still being analyzed, and of course it is possible they missed the aggregations at Long Island and could not find the school at Andros.

In a nutshell we need to do a full comprehensive survey for the entire season - and for several years - we need to assess our fisheries stocks and deal aggressively with the DR as well as illegal fishing by Bahamians.

Nick Higgs

Hi Larry,

Thanks for this important post. Is there any way to get hold of these reports? I would very much appreciate having a look at this.

Barry Clement Simms

Thank you Mr. Smith for keeping the Bahamian public informed of the need to protect our valued resources. We must become a proactive nation when it comes to protecting what is ours if we don't who will?


What annoys me the most is our lousy politician can do something about the problem of poaching but sit in parliament laughing and talking. Advertise in Dominican newspapers that all fisherman caught in Bahamian waters will spend at least a year in Fox Hill prison and that their boats will be confiscated. Be sure to show a few interior photos of Fox Hill prison. Also let them know that daily corporal punishment would be administer by a Bahamain fisherman.


The number one job of a nation should be to enforce its borders. The bahamas has failed spectacularly at this and we pay the price in many ways.


Hi Larry, Excellent and well written piece as usual. This article draws attention to part of the problem that could be resolved through diplomatic channels, however for whatever reason, we are not motivated to act from this end. We wish more Bahamains will understand the impact on these resources, because the fisheries sector directly employs about 20,000 Bahamians. No grouper, or conch or lobster can be commercially fished in the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, yet DR fishers are the No 1 exporters of these products to Florida. How come??????


Recently the BDF arrested 3 Dominican vessells (originally 3) whose crew were convicted if poachng in Bahamain waters. In his thrust to aggressively combat poaching the Commodore established a special unit of "trusted" officers for this task. Yet 1 week after the most significant arrest in 3 years and 4 weeks after the unit was established, the officers were transfered and the senior officer demoted.
There are questions that beg answers.
1. Why were these officers transfered so soon after making such a significant arrest.
2. Why was the senior officer DEMOTED
3. Why was a 40 foot vessel with a 5 man crew dispatched to patrol the vast waters of the Southern Bahama Bank
4. Why were these officers not properley armed
5. Why did Coral Harbour not immedaitely respond to the calls for assisstance from the small BDF craft, hence allowing 1 poaching vessel to escape
6. Who directed the transfer and domotion of the officers, as the Commodore was not aware of the transfers.
The Bahamas Commercial Fishers Allaince has been seeking answers and are going to ask for a special enquiry into this matter.
It is fully accepted that every public servant can be transfered as the Government requires, however these actions are not seen as part of the normal course of business.

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