The flats ecosystem in The Bahamas supports a fishery for bonefish, tarpon, and permit that generates over $140 million to the Bahamian economy each year. Little is known, however, about how much these species depend on the flats habitat or how alterations to mangroves, sea grass beds, and tidal creeks could impact this fishery. Critical biological information on these target species is just now being supplied via recent research efforts. Using that information to help shape an effective coastal zone management policy, however, is an ongoing challenge. To address that challenge, the community of flats fishing guides from throughout the Bahamas has come together to organize the Bahamas Flyfishing Association (BFA). A coalition of NGOs, anglers, and other scientific entities are joining the BFA to address an array of environmental threats to the flats, to improve fish handling practices and to stop the practice of netting and spearing these fish for commercial sale. All of these efforts involve initiating a novel education and outreach campaign that translates fisheries science and flats conservation for the Bahamian people, including governmental officials. This unique partnership serves as a model for sharing conservation responsibility among stakeholders.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||142nd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society (AFS 2012)|
|State||Published - 2012|