Purse-Seining Permit Could “Kill” Sportfishing In Bahamas

From a press release generated by The Billfish Foundation:

A commercial Bahamian purse seine netting operation is attempting to obtain permits to begin operating in the islands of the Bahamas for yellowfin tuna, much to the frustration of conservation groups and sports fishing interests…

"Purse seine netters are indiscriminate," Ellen Peel, president of The Billfish Foundation (TBF), said. "Such a large scale net vessel (with nets reportedly a mile long) will have bycatch trapped in the nets of not only blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish but it will also kill marine mammals such as porpoises and bottle nosed dolphin as well as endangered sea turtles…"

"That negative impact will kill the sportfishing tourism industry so vital to their nation," Peel said.

TBF is asking for the Bahamian government to enact a moratorium so its lawmakers can have time to look at scientific and socio-economic data…

Recent studies completed by TBF in Mexico and Costa Rica, document that responsible sportfishing of billfish -- primarily catch and release -- generates far more economic return to a nation than large commercial vessels that take, kill and move on to others waters while only having to pay a few license and permit fees…

"We'll see what happens hopefully to resolve this quickly in the coming weeks, if not days," Peel said.