No more spearfishing in the bahamas? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 51 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

Spent 250$ on spearfishing gear specifically to check that off my bucket list on our trip. The license we were given says spearfishing is allowed if the endorsement is on the license. The customs officer who gave me the license said he can't put that on because he isn't a fishery guy. I waited for the fishery guy to show up here and he just told me no one is allowed to spearfish unless you get a guide and go downtown for a special one time guided permit ..... really disappointed at this one. Thoughts? I honestly can't tell if I'm being jerked around here.

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Re: No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

You should have done your research before you spent all that money. Spear fishing is only allowed for citizens on most Caribbean Islands. Hawaiian slings are allowed, in some places, but you'd have to gold plate one to spend $250.00 on one.
I've never heard of a permit to spearfish with a guide. Independent SCUBA diving is illegal so SCUBA diving requires a guide on many islands. I should think (don't know) that any rules regarding either of these could be found on the sport divers' magazines web sites.
I must admit, I really miss the days when in an hour or so I could spear up enough fish for a half dozen or more yachts in an anchorage to have a fish fry.

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Re: No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

Spear fishing in this context means Hawaiian sling or pole spear. If the OP does mean speargun, then that isn't ever allowed in the Bahamas, guide or not.

The 2019 regulations make no mention of a need for a guide. They say that the permit issuing officer can issue fishing and spearing permits. They do not differentiate what an "issuing officer" is though. It has always been the customs officer for us. I've never heard of a "fisheries guy" - only customs and immigration.

I don't know if there are new regulations that took place in 2020. If so, they are not yet in the Bahama government website.

I think you are getting jerked around, and this is not uncommon for random officers in the Bahamas. Most are good, though.

Where were you checking in? Sounds like Nassau, or one of the other few ports that should be avoided for these types of reasons.

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Re: No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

Just get a hawaiian sling and go harvest.
Read rules regarding distance from shore

..edit.. 2 years ago customs told me the fishing pefmit also applied to spearing. Was no special endorsement

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Re: No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

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Originally Posted by RegisteredUser View Post
Just get a hawaiian sling and go harvest.
Read rules regarding distance from shore

..edit.. 2 years ago customs told me the fishing pefmit also applied to spearing. Was no special endorsement
That isn't quite right, but it is confusing. The fishing permit is free and part of the customs/immigration paperwork. However, the spearfishing permit is a special endorsement on the fishing permit. It is also free, and given by customs/immigration, but you need to ask for it. Then they pull out their stamp and stamp it and you have permission.

It is silly, but that's the way it works.

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Re: No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

I asked for that endorsement and was told it was included with the fish permit.
This was at grt harbour cay, 2018 and 19...2 different officers.

I also believe that their training is not the best, nor uniform, due to differing answers to questions ive asked

On another note...
Permit is printed saying boat is good for 6 months, but its actually good for 12 months.
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Re: No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

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I must admit, I really miss the days when in an hour or so I could spear up enough fish for a half dozen or more yachts in an anchorage to have a fish fry.
It's still that way in the lesser-travelled parts of the Bahamas. Conch and lobster too. But one needs to get out of Georgetown, and a bit off the cruiser-choked paths (which coincide with the overfishing locals to supply them) - where the fish, conch, and lobster are almost jumping in the boat.

Also that way in the Western Caribe, with the added bonus that there is no ciguatera, so large fish of all types are good game, and one can use a speargun.

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Re: No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

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I asked for that endorsement and was told it was included with the fish permit.
This was at grt harbour cay, 2018 and 19...2 different officers.

I also believe that their training is not the best, nor uniform, due to differing answers to questions ive asked

On another note...
Permit is printed saying boat is good for 6 months, but its actually good for 12 months.
Yes, it is included with the fishing permit. But it is not active unless it is either stamped or initialed (I forget which).

It is a really silly thing - free and already existing, but it needs to be "activated". I don't understand the purpose.

On the other hand, I've never been "pulled over" when spear fishing, and if I ever was, I doubt they would ask to see the "activated" permit. They are only interested in illegal fish and spear guns.

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I did research it and was following all the rules as per the Bahamas website which states bluntly that getting a spear endorsement is easy...just ask! The Pole spears, plus tips, spare parts, fins, belt, weights etc etc added up lol. Anyways... as far as I can tell he either just wasn't interested in sorting it out or maybe has an issue with spear fishermen. Another person endorsed my license and I'm good to go now. One customs guy said basically no one cares just go ahead and do it...but I've come way too far to get tossed out or at least fined for a rule like that.
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Re: No more spearfishing in the bahamas?

That stamp/endorsement may be old bureaucracy...or not known as part of entry permits by some customs officers.
If not a tax...makes no sense...wasted ink

Were just just looking for good time with no hassles
Overall, i think thats what the gov wants to deliver
Just spend. Your $s...
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