Bahamas pushing for a negotiated EEZ.
Basically negotiations have been stalled since 2012, and now the Bahamas are pushing for further negotiation. ]
The disagreement is in the North end, but everyone seems to accept the EEZ as an equidistant line thru the Florida Straits.
The short facts are that if we agree to an EEZ it may be illegal for us to fish further than half way across the Straits without first clearing in the Bahamas and obtaining as fishing permit.
So this could mean it would be illegal to run offshore of Miami more than 23 miles to fish.
Historically we can fish up to 12 miles off the Banks without clearing but that could change if we sign the EEZ.
From the update I got from the State Dept lawyers, if the Bahamas agreed to our line North of the northern most bahamas, we would sign it. Not likely on the part of the Bahamas, but it could have significant impact on how we fish off South Florida.
Ths point mentioned by the State Dept, is that the Bahamas recognize the benefit of recreational anglers and would not do anything to hurt that economic benefit.
What was missing from that statement is the fact that the Bahamas gain nothing from us fishing within say 20 miles of their coast.
An option may be for them to issue some kind of permit to fish offshore of 12 miles, to the EEZ for some fee. In this way, maybe they could authorize entry to their waters offshore for a $200 fee or something that you renew by mail each year.
OR they could force us to go to shore, pull a regular permit each time we want to fish more than halfway across.
I will keep you updated.