Friday, March 30, 2012

Request for support to protect Bimini Island

March 12, 2012

The Right Honourable Hubert A. Ingraham
Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield Centre
P.O. Box CB 10980
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas

A new chapter is being written in the colorful and rousing history of the islands of Bimini. These incredible islands, ecological gems sitting alone on the western edge of the Great Bahama Bank, are experiencing their own unique environmental renaissance. Long lauded as the “Big Game Fishing Capital of the World,” Bimini is now emerging as one of the top ecotourism destinations in the Bahamas.

The fishermen are still drawn here en masse, fanning out over the shallow flats in search of bonefish and permit, with others venturing just off-shore to the rich waters of the Gulf Stream hoping to hook marlin, wahoo, sailfish, and hoards of other big-game pursuits. Now, joining the traditional fishing crowd is an ever-growing number of SCUBA divers, snorkelers, kayakers, paddle-boarders, sightseers, scientific researchers, filmmakers, and all-around nature enthusiasts. Along with Bimini’s fascinating history and vibrant culture, the wildlife and natural beauty of these islands are now sharing center stage.

In an effort to maximize Bimini’s potential and sustain the very base of our tourism industry, we, the stakeholders, community leaders, and residents of these islands now present a unified front to support the full implementation and realization of Bimini’s long-awaited Marine Protected Area (MPA).

The Bahamas has established itself as a leader in marine conversation, and by formally declaring Bimini’s MPA, that reputation will be strengthened exponentially.

For the sake of our people and our precious marine resources, we understand that
Bimini’s MPA will serve as the foundation from which this island’s future will grow. As the only mangrove nursery habitat on the western Great Bahama Bank, Bimini’s MPA will serve to replenish conch, lobster, and fish stocks for the greater Bahamas and far beyond.

We hereby present in one united voice, the undersigned, who offer full support in finalizing Bimini’s Marine Protected Area and respectfully ask the Government of the Bahamas to treat this as a top priority for 2012.

For Bimini,

Editor's Note: Please send letters voicing support of the Marine Protected Area to the Bahamian officials listed below, using the letter above as a reference for your own letter.

Bahamas National Trust
P.O. Box N4105
The Retreat Gardens
Village Road
Nassau, Bahamas

Department of Fisheries
Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources
East Bay Street
P. O. Box N 3028
Nassau,  Bahamas 

The Nature Conservancy - Bahamas Program
West Bay Street
Caves Village, Suite 2
Building 5
P.O. Box CB - 11398
Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission
Ministry of Health and the Environment
PO Box N3730
Nassau Court
Nassau, New Providence
The Bahamas

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