The government of the Bahamas is planning to create two new National Parks in East Grand Bahama.
The two parks would include the North Shore GAP Marine Protection Area and the East End Marine Protection Area.
The North Shore, known locally as “The Gap,” is approximately 280,000 acres, while the East Grand Bahama National Park, located south of Sweetings’ Cay, spans more than 12,500 acres.
The Bahamian government recently held a consultation on the proposal in Freeport, looking to address concerns by local fishermen that the areas would become “no-take zones,” effectively prohibiting fishing.
Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett said the proposed areas would be given special protection so that substance fishing, diving, boating and other recreational/commercial activities would be allowed “on the reasons explored in the management plan referenced for the particular area.”
Dorsett said there were also two existing parks under consideration for expansion: the Lucayan National Park and the Peterson Cay National Park.