Fishing Rules

Bahamas Fishing Rules and Regulations

Fishing Permits: Permits are obtained from Customs officials at ports of entry.

Rod Limits: Fishing gear is restricted to hook and line and you may not fish with more than six rods at a time.

Fishing Limits: The below measure is a part of efforts being made to ensure that the fishery in The Bahamas will be sustained for the benefit of present and future generations of Bahamian fishermen and consumers.

Closure of Nassau Grouper Fishing Throughout The Bahamas
The Department of Fisheries wishes to advise the public that the taking, landing, processing, selling and offering for sale of fresh Nassau Grouper will be prohibited during the period from 16th December 2004 to 16th February 2005 throughout The Bahamas.

The Department of Fisheries wishes to advise the public that the taking, landing, processing, selling and offering for sale of fresh Nassau Grouper will be prohibited during the period from 16th December 2004 to 16th February 2005 throughout The Bahamas.

The above measure is a part of efforts being made to ensure that the commercial fishery for the Nassau Grouper in The Bahamas will be sustained for the benefit of present and future generations of Bahamian fishermen and consumers.

Lobster or Crawfish
Six tails per person, at any time. Annual closed season is April 1 to July 31. Minimum size limits are 3 3/8″ carapace length or 6″ tail length. Egg-bearing female crawfish are protected.

Conch
Harvesting and possession of conch without a well-formed lip is prohibited. Bag limit at any time is 10 per person.

Although conch has been the basis of local subsistence fisheries in the Bahamas islands, queen conch populations are in decline throughout their range, unable to keep pace with the growing pressure of commercial harvest. The conch matures slowly, taking three to four years to grow to harvest size in the wild.

The Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) is perhaps the favorite marine creatures. In Florida and it is now illegal to take a single conch.

Though showing signs of overharvest, queen conch populations in the Bahamas and some Caribbean countries are in somewhat better shape, partly due to restrictions, which prohibit the use of scuba gear by conch fishermen. This allows the survival of small, deepwater “refuge” populations, ensuring some reproduction to replenish the regional stocks.

Wahoo/Dolphin/Kingfish
Six fish per person, any combination.

Vessel Bag
Limit 20 pounds of scalefish, 10 conch and 6 crawfish per person may be exported from The Islands Of The Bahamas.

Stone Crabs
Closed season is June 1 to October 15. Minimum harvestable claw is 4″. Harvesting of females is prohibited.

Turtle
Illegal to import although legal to eat in The Islands Of The Bahamas.

Spearfishing
Hawaiian sling is the only approved spearfishing device. Use of scuba gear or an air compressor to harvest fish, conch, crawfish and other marine animals is prohibited. Spearfishing is not allowed within one mile off the coast of New Providence, within one mile off the south coast of Freeport, Grand Bahama and within 200 yards of the coast of all Out Islands. Spearing or taking marine animals by any means is prohibited within national sea parks.

Marine Reserves
Marine Reserves are an important way to protect Bahamas marine animal stocks. Marine Reserves are protected areas where marine animals can reproduce. The young of marine animals inside a marine reserve will repopulate areas outside the reserve.