China-Bahamas fishing talks alarm Florida Officials

baha-mmap-mdFlorida wildlife officials expressed concern Wednesday that the government of the Bahamas is in talks with China to split fishing rights in waters east of Florida. State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley said the potential deal, as reported, could impact Florida’s commercial and sport-fishing industries. Under the reported terms of the deal, the government would lease to 100 companies — each jointly owned by Chinese and Bahamians shareholders — 10,000 acres in Andros Island, along with fishing licenses. “It is anticipated that the agricultural products and the seafood will be used either for local consumption or will be exported to China or the U.S.A. for sale,” the proposal says.  Commercial fishing for conch, lobster, snapper and grouper are mainstays of the Andros Island’s economy. However, the indication is that the Chinese firms want to target dolphin, kingfish, marlin, tuna and wahoo. Read the story here 19:27