The Billfish Foundation (TBF) wants to make sure anglers in Bermuda are aware of recent developments calling for a no-take marine reserve in Bermudian waters. Organizations such as the PEW Environmental Group are currently working toward the establishment of a no-take zone encompassing Bermudian waters that could created as little as 50 miles from shore to the edge of Bermuda’s exclusive economic zone at 200 miles. These same environmental groups have worked in Australia to close out anglers from more than half a million square kilometers in the Coral Sea.
Being a world class destination for sport fishermen and could be argued as the ‘Blue Marlin Capital’, Bermuda greatly benefits from the economic contributions generated by anglers. Not only do anglers contribute fiscally, but are conservationists themselves, making them key stakeholders in the maritime community. Governing authorities need to recognize and incorporate this into the management of marine resources as there is an estimated 16,000 recreational anglers living in Bermuda in addition to the hundreds, if not thousands of foreign anglers that travel to Bermuda for its excellent fishing every year. Shutting out anglers could spell a tremendous loss for the Bermudian economy and most critically, a loss of fishing opportunities for a community of anglers that strongly depend on Bermuda’s marine resources.
As an advocate for sport fishing and the conservation of billfish species, TBF encourages anglers in Bermuda to unite and get engaged in the issues to ensure they are properly represented. United, anglers can prevent environmental groups from misleading the general public and ensure the proper management of marine resources. This means all stakeholders are involved and a proper balance between sustainable use and conservation is achieved.
The Billfish Foundation is currently working with the Office of Sustainable Development in Bermuda and has prepared the document below Potential Impacts of Bermuda’s Marine Reserve on Sportfishing Tourism to further educate them on options that were not considered in their initial Consultation Document and the potential negative impacts that a no-take marine reserve could have. Bermuda wishes to be a leader in marine conservation, but must make well-informed decisions that are both beneficial ecologically and economically.
[expand Title= “Documents Prepared by Bermuda’s Sustainable Development Department”]
“Bermuda’s Exclusive Economic Zone and its Future” – The Full Consultation Document
Consultation Flyer – A brief summary of the proposals
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