By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources is hoping to table legislation that will regulate the fly fishing industry in Parliament by mid-February .
V Alfred Gray told Tribune Business: “It’s prepared, and I am getting ready to look at the final draft before I take it to Cabinet for its approval.
“Once Cabinet approves, it will go to Parliament and it will become law. It’s January now, and I’m hoping that probably by the end of this month I will be able to take it to Cabinet and, by the middle of the following month, we should be able to table it in Parliament. It’s moving, just not as fast as I would like.”
The Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) (Amendment) Bill 2015, and the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) (Flats Fishing) Regulations 2015, introduce a number of changes designed to create a supervisory framework for flats fishing in the Bahamas.
The proposed regulations, which are being driven by the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA), have been met with strong opposition from a number of lodge owners and fly fishing outfits.
“After the consultations we took into account most of the recommendations that the stakeholders had, and we put them together into what we consider to be a good draft. I just hope the Cabinet thinks it is, and then we will move it to Parliament,” said Mr Gray.
“I feel very comfortable with the draft because the content of the draft was as a result of a consultative process. Like everything else, everyone’s vision and wish will not be included because you have to build consensus, majority views, and see how best you can put that in a single document.
“I believe that having regard to all that happened, the Bahamian people will be very proud of the Government’s decision to protect the industry.”