Ask The Bahamas Government to Protect Bonefish Habitat in Abaco

Help protect essential bonefish habitat in The Abaco Marls, Cross Harbour, and East Abaco Creeks; these proposed protected areas aim to protect the habitat while still allowing the public to fish there under current marine resources regulations.

The recreational bonefish fishery is economically important to The Bahamas, bringing approximately $141 million to the country annually. Bonefish anglers spend nearly twice as much money in The Bahamas as other tourists, making flyfishing an essential component of economies on the Family Islands. And since the recreational fishery is catch and release, it is also sustainable.

But the fishery is healthy only if the habitats that support it are also healthy. This is why the Bahamas National Trust, Friends of the Environment, Abaco Fly Fishing Guides Association, and others have petitioned the Prime Minister of The Bahamas to create National Parks on Abaco – to protect the habitats used by bonefish.

Bonefish are also beneficial in that they act as Umbrella Species – the habitats they use are also used by other species (like queen conch and piping plovers), so by protecting bonefish habitats many other species under the ‘bonefish umbrella’ are also protected.

Proposed protected areas in Abaco can help secure a sustainable future for bonefish and other species under their umbrella:
- Essential bonefish home range habitats - the Abaco Marls, East Abaco Creeks (Snake Cay, Bight of Old Robinson, Cherokee Sound)
- Essential home range and spawning habitats - Cross Harbour

Please sign this petition to show your support for the creation of National Parks to protect bonefish habitats, and ensure a healthy and sustainable fishery.

We, the undersigned, ask that The Government of The Bahamas designate National Parks in The East Abaco Creeks, Cross Harbour and The Marls. These areas represent critical habitats for bonefish (and other species) that are currently underrepresented in existing national parks and marine preserves. The community would like the park established to protect the habitat and ensure continued recreational and non-commercial fishing use of future generations.

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