Updated Sport Fishing Regulations


The Department of Marine Resources wishes to advise the general public that several additional amendments to the Regulations governing sports fishing have been made. These changes came into force on 19th October, 2007. The amendments address regulations 46, 47, 48 and 70 of the Fisheries Regulation (Ch. 244 – Subsidiary Legislation of The Bahamas – 2000) and have the effect of curtailing the amount of marine resources which can legally be harvested by foreign boaters visiting The Islands Of The Bahamas.

Sport Fishing and Tournament Rules and Regulations for The Islands Of The Bahamas :

a) A person shall fish by the traditional method of angling with a hook or lure attached to a line held in the hand or attached to a pole, rod or reel.

b) A person, unless otherwise authorized by the respective permit, shall not use a spear, a fish trap, or a net other than a landing net.

c) Each vessel shall use not more than six (6) rods or reels unless the operator is in possession of a permit authorizing the use of more rods or reels.

d) Any person or organization wishing to organize or hold a sports fishing tournament in The Islands Of The Bahamas must apply for a permit. Application for a permit can be made by completing Form 17, paying the $500 fee and attaching to the application, the proposed rules for the tournament/sports fishing event.

e) Once the tournament/sports fishing event is approved, a permit (Form 18) will be issued outlining the terms and conditions of approval for the event. The required tournament decals for each participant in the tournament/sports fishing event will also be issued at this time. This decal is to be attached to the bottom of the copy of the sports fishing permit provided to each participant.

f) All foreign vessels engaged in a sports fishing event must be in possession of a valid permit.

g) Attempting to sell fishery products derived from sports fishing under the terms and conditions of the permit granted is illegal.

h) Any migratory fishery resource that is caught shall not in total exceed more than eighteen (18) Kingfish, Dolphin, Tuna or Wahoo per vessel. Any resource not intended to be used shall not be injured unnecessarily but be returned to the sea alive.

i) Each vessel must adhere to the following catch limits: no turtle, a maximum of six (6) conch, ten (10) crawfish and a maximum of twenty (20) or sixty (60) pounds of any demersal fishery resources (groupers, snappers, etc.) per vessel at any time.

j) Any type of Billfish (such as Marlins, Sailfish or Swordfish, etc) must be returned to the sea unharmed except where landed under the terms of an approved sports fishing event or tournament.

k) A fishery inspector has the authority by law to enter and inspect any vessel that has engaged in sports fishing.

l) The limitations specified above also apply to a Bahamian vessel engaged in fishing for purposes other than commercial by persons who are not Bahamians. For the purposes of this regulation, residents will be treated the same as Bahamians.

m) Foreign vessels engaged in sports fishing in The Islands Of The Bahamas under a permit are able to, on leaving the country, export the amount of fishery products aboard that vessel in accordance with the catch limits outlined above.