The Department of Marine Resources is primarily responsible for the administration, management, and development of fisheries in The Bahamas. The department was created to administer, manage, and develop the fisheries sector as stipulated by the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act. The department is also tasked with enforcement of Fisheries Regulations, Marine Mammal Regulations and the Seafood Processing and Inspection Regulations.
The optimum sustainable use and integrated management of fishery resources and the marine environment of The Bahamas for the maximum benefit of the Bahamian people.
The development of the fisheries sector through sustainable use and integrated management of the fishery resources, coastal zone, and the marine environment for the well being of the Bahamian Environment.
- Mr. Edison Deleveaux - Director of Marine Resources (Acting)
Functions of the Department
- Data collection, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, statistics, licences and permits.
- Processing of licences, permits and scientific research permits.
- Enforcement. By law and under appointment by the minister, a large number of staff have enforcement powers. However, in New Providence, enforcement is a full-time priority for three officers. Family Island officers are also responsible for enforcement of fisheries regulations alongside their other duties. In addition, by law, all Police, Customs, and Defense Force Officers are appointed Fisheries Inspectors and are routinely engaged by the Department of Marine Resources for training in recognizing infractions.
- Science & conservation issues.
- Seafood export quality control.
- Public education and training.
- Family Islands officer issues.
- Vessel operations and maintenance.
- Department accounting.
- Food laboratory.
- Human Resources.
Vessels: 6 vessels are available full-time to assist the department in its data gathering and enforcement duties:
- The Guanahani, a 65 foot research trawler, is currently seconded to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force to assist with patrols in the southeastern Bahamas, but can be made available to the department when necessary.
- A 26 foot Paramount patrol vessel equipped with twin, 250 horsepower (hp) engines, is stationed in Treasure Cay, Abaco.
- Three, 21 foot Sea Chasers equipped with single, 200 hp engines are stationed in New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Marsh Harbor, Abaco.
- A 17 foot Boston Whaler runabout, equipped with a 90 hp engine, is stationed in New Providence.
More vessels will become available with the establishment of marine protected areas throughout the archipelago.
All technical staff are scuba certified. Recently, members of the Science and Conservation Unit received PADI Rescue Diver Certification.
- Bahamas National Trust
- Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation
- Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism
- Friends of The Environment
- Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute
- Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources
- Online Database for Fish Species
- Reef Check
- Society for The Conservation of Reef Fish Aggregation
- The Community Conch Project
- The Nature Conservancy
- Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network