We are a Nonprofit Organization set on bringing order and balance to the fisheries sector. We are a mesh of passionate Bahamians, hailing from across the Bahama Islands, and have come together to combat the greatest threats to our industry, our marine environment and our culture. Our members are fishermen, owners and employees of fisheries-dependent businesses, members of conservation organisations and the scientific community. We believe the commercial fisheries sector must be protected and reserved for Bahamian Citizens only, in both ownership and labour. We believe that our fisheries sector has been mishandled and exploited to the detriment of law-abiding fisherfolk, fish stocks, national industry, national food security, development of the labour force and our culture. We aim to change that dynamic.
Building from the efforts of the BCFA and fisheries advocates of years past and present, the National Fisheries Association was forged to bring these elements together towards a unified agenda and vision.
To preserve the fisheries sector, and maintain access to commercial fishing for Bahamian Citizens only. To be stewards of the marine environment and create an industry that is sustainable for generations to come. To protect our fisheries for the next generation, our children, the inheritors of this country. To not stop until we create a fisheries sector bound by the rule of law, with fairness, justice, sustainability and the rightful attention of the people.
We strive to inform, educate and empower fisherfolk, and aid in the improvement of the fishing labour force. We are challenged with shifting the mindset of the Bahamian public and electorate to have a deeper appreciation for the economic, environmental and geopolitical value of our fisheries. value of our fisheries.
We will fight for the rights of Bahamians who depend on fisheries for their livelihoods. We represent the interests of commerical, charter and recreational fishermen, businesses in the tourism sector, and environmental groups interested in a shared, balanced and robust fisheries sector. The right and privilege to fish is Bahamian, first and foremost.
We aim to partner with Bahamian and regional law enforcement to ensure our national sovereignty is preserved, fishing grounds are protected, and laws are being followed. We strive to strengthen our laws to make enforcement more feasible and effective, so as to bring order and accountability in our territorial waters.
We have members from Long Island, Grand Bahama, Ragged Island, Andros, Bimini, Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma and New Providence. We seek to eventually cover all fishing islands with representatives.
Our membership consists of commercial fishermen, charter fishermen, bonefish lodges and guides, recreational fishermen, restaurants, seafood brokers, exporters, and maritime salvage.
A life-long commercial fisherman from Long Island, Keith now operates out of Coral Harbour, N.P. Keith has been at the forefront f the fight to protect Bahamian fisheries and has offered himself for many years to government agencies as a representative. He is passionate about protecting our industry and making sure our laws are fair and applied equally.
Albert 'Junior' Cartwright has been a commercial fisherman his whole life, and now operates out of Coral Harbour, N.P. Albert also runs a marine mechanic shop, and has a long family legacy of commercial fishing and boat repair. He is passionate about protecting this industry for Bahamians, and in particular, ensuring the commercial fishing industry remains for Bahamians, by Bahamians.
Doyle is an Abaco raised fisherman of many years, and hails from a family legacy of commercial fishing. He now resides on N.P. where he pursues a livelihood in economics. He remains passionate about fisheries policy and has fought for many years to bring change from a legal stance, bringing his experience, talents and skills to the table.
Paul is the youngest member of the team and brings experience as a life-long small-boat fisherman with Maillis Fisheries. He is an avid freediver (spearfisherman), a naturalist, and holds a degree in aquaculture and fisheries resources, with a passion for fisheries management and marine stewardship.
Gary hails from a past of commercial spearfishing and is a man with extensive maritime experience in salvage and in-island transit. He is passionate about protecting the Bahamian environment, law enforcement and creating a more equitable country for Bahamian fishermen.
Our Annual General Meetings are mandated by organizational law to take place in the fist weekend of May each year.
Directors are first nominated, then voted upon by the membership body at our AGM. They will serve for a period of one (1) year. A maximum of two (2) directors can be elected for each fisher island.
Once the Directors have been elected, from among this body, Executive Directors will be nominated and voted upon.
Committees will be appointed for various roles with the approval of the Executive Directors.
The Advisory Council is an appointed body of non-voting members from various sectors of the scientific, NGO, and Governmental realm, whom have been invited to offer support and opinion to the Association. These appointees will serve a maximum of two (2) years, but may be renewed at the discretion of the Executive.
Our voting system is secret ballot. Results will be published for all members and upon request to the outside community.
We rely on the annual membership fees ($25/year) of the Association's members. This is our bread and butter, to sustain operations, and finance the objectives of the Association.
We seek the support of Bahamian civil society, including NGOs, to further the agenda of the association. All support is welcome, as long as the objects of the Association are in no way violated by such support.
We represent industry and play an integral role in sustaining the supply of seafood and ecotourism to the Bahamas. Corporate sponsorship will be used to protect the interests of businesses dependent on the vibrancy of our marine ecosystem, and quality of our seafood. To support this Association means to support legal practices and Bahamian industry.
We will seek the support of the Government of The Bahamas, as we embark on partnerships, and partner in initiatives to improve enforcement, provide oversight and insight to the industry. However, our Association is beholden to no political party or agenda, and will seek to do what is in the best interest of The Bahamas, first and foremost.
The Bahamian fisheries and marine ecosystems matter to the international community, and we seek the financial support from those that want to promote the objectives of this Association.
We are available to engage in dialogue about fisheries and inform the public as guests.
We know what it takes to form a nonprofit, and are available to support any fisheries organizations in getting started.
We can speak about fisheries to students, law enforcement and civil service members, at events and conferences or in the classroom.
We support our own and want to help their businesses succeed!