The future of fishing in Bimini under threat! Mass destruction of mangroves could mean an end to fishing on the island as we know it!
Bahamas Press wants destruction of the environment at Bimini stopped!
BIMINI– The Bimini Bay Development has remained an active issue of discussion for over thirteen years and its approvals and reconsiderations have spanned several government administrations.
The most recent discussions focused around the proposed expansion of the development towards and beyond the sensitive mangrove area at the top of North Sound. The developer was proposing the construction of a golf course for the area. This sensitive area has been identified by scientists and experts at the Department of Marine Resources as the westernmost edge of the proposed Marine Protected Area. Scientists working in Bimini had objected and the BNT supported this position and recommended dialogue on the issue.
The Government held a Town meeting in January 2009. During that meeting and in subsequent meetings with the developer, the then Minister stated in the meeting that the government was committed to the Bimini MPA and would not allow the destruction of the sensitive mangrove area at the top of North Sound. The proposed golf course was therefore taken off the table. The developer argued that a golf course was part of their marketing plan, but the government held firm on their position of no development at the top of North Sound. The BNT has continued to advocate for the establishment of the Bimini MPA.
As recently as October 2012, reports resurfaced about the proposed golf course and galvanized the BNT to write to the Prime Minister stating emphatically that the BNT remains opposed to the golf course and continues to support the establishment of the Bimini MPA.
The most recent concern for Bimini has centered around the Berthing facility proposed for the Resorts World Super Fast ferry on the west side of North Bimini. Articles in the press indicate that there will be a 1000 ft. dock created from dredged fill to create the deep-water dockage.
The BNT has requested the documents concerning the proposed Berthing Facility for Bimini from both the BEST Commission and the Bahamas Investment Authority. To date government has not provided The BNT, with the requested documents and until these documents are received, BNT cannot provide informed comment on the proposed facility.
The debate over the Bimini Bay development has been ongoing for many years due mainly to the ecological sensitivity of the area. The BNT is cognizant of the need to promote development in support of job creation and while we lament the destruction of part of North Sound to accommodate the resort, we acknowledge that the resort that stands there currently is of significant economic benefit to the island of Bimini.
The wetland ecosystem at the top of North Sound is significant from an ecological perspective and also as a buffer against hurricanes. The loss of the mangrove system would forever change the fisheries of Bimini. The BNT continues to advocate for the establishment of the Bimini Marine Protected Area and awaits sight of the documents with regards to the Berthing Facility for the Superfast Ferry.