Environment

BEST plea over fishing regulations

  • A local enjoys an afternoon of fishing of the rocks in Devil’s Hole (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

An environmental charity has pleaded with the public to follow fishing regulations to protect the island’s marine life.

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce said policies to ensure the long-term health of Bermuda’s waters should be followed.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “Do not take juvenile fish — this is an unsustainable practice and harms Bermuda’s fishery which impacts everyone.

“Follow the minimum size restrictions on the regulation sticker available from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“Respect the daily bag limits and catch only what you need — taking more than your allowance of fish could harm our fishery and takes from everyone else.”

The BEST spokeswoman also warned against the use of single-use plastics and asked fishermen to dispose of their lines in a safe manner.

She added: “Monofilament line takes around 600 years to biodegrade and when left underwater can entangle and harm marine life including turtles, whales and other fish.”

The charity also reminded the public that spearfishing needed a licence and could only be carried out more than a mile from shore — with the exception of lionfish culling, which is allowed closer to land with a special permit.

Netting is prohibited at several public parks, including Somerset Long Bay, Shelly Bay, Whalebone Bay and Coot Pond, and recreational fishers are can only use nets with diameters of less than eight feet. Fishing around protected dive sites is banned and also forbidden at public parks and beaches where signposted.