Two years worth of travel, dozens of Bahamian islands, and thousands of miles of travel require the best gear possible. Over the next two years I will be traveling the Bahamas in search of "Ghost Stories". I am thrilled to have Fishpond travel with me; protecting my gear, illustrating my passion and protecting resources as I am also trying to conserve.
Across the Bahamas, Bonefishing is a significant source of income for many Bahamians. Originating in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, this industry now reportedly generates $141 million US dollars annually with upwards of 80% of out island residents being tied to this precious resource.
Men like Pinder, Smith, Rolle, Moxie, Neymour, Coakley and many others, worked tirelessly to establish a world class recreational angling destination. As a result of their efforts, and the extensive, pristine habitat for flats species like Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit, the Bahamas are known as the “Bonefishing Capital of the world”. The tremendous efforts of these pioneering Bahamians need recognition; they are legends.
Understanding, and properly managing the Bahamas Bonefishing industry, a valuable Bahamian resource, is critical for the future prosperity of all Bahamians. Current management is based primarily on scientific data generated through Bonefish tracking and tagging, with little consideration given to local expertise. In light of this fact, I am undertaking the task of documenting the history of the Bahamas Bonefishing Industry and the environmental knowledge held by the longest serving pioneering guides. This research project will document the lives of legendary Bahamian guides and their families, in both print and film, and I will work to generate “fisheries habitat maps” through consultation and collaboration with elder guides. These maps will provide valuable information on a variety of species, including seasonal migration, spawning patterns, and historical changes that all will help better manage this amazing Bahamian Resource.
In consulting with locals, resource management becomes more effective and sustainable. Decision-making opportunities will move to local communities, and the outcome will be greater participation in management decisions with better appreciation for process and more successful outcomes. Over the course of the next two years I will travel through the islands to secure and document the lives of the first Bahamian Guides. I will collaborate with the College of the Bahamas, The Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Fishpond, and other interested groups.
This research will result in:
Ghost Stories – Pioneering Bahamian Guides, their stories, their knowledge and opportunities for Resource Management: a research project, a book, a documentary, a new approach to resource management in the Bahamas and a PhD dissertation.
If you are interested in learning more about this valuable project, please go to: http://tomkarrow.wix.com/bahamas-guide-tek .
Regular research updates will be provided on this site, so please check back frequently.
If you have questions or are interested in assisting with this project, please contact:
Tom Karrow, lead Bahamas TEK Researcher (University of Waterloo, Canada, and College of the Bahamas), 1-519-386-1130, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tamica Raming-Leadon, Executive Director at the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (http://bffia.org/), or the College of the Bahamas, Department of Oral History and Tradition.
Assistance is greatly needed and appreciated, periodic research updates will be available through Fishpond USA, Coastal Angler Magazine, FlyLife Magazine, Tail Flyfishing Magazine, MidCurrent and a host of other sources.
How can you help? At this time, we are looking for greatly needed financial support, fieldwork lodging support for the summers of 2014 and 2015 as well as old flats fishing pictures, and great stories! If you have any of these and are interested in assisting or participating please feel free to contact me,
Photos by Ian Davis at Yellow Dog Flyfishing