how close is too close

reel dealreel deal Posts: 18 Greenhorn
whats the offshore distance of bahamas law to not violate customs and not check in

Replies

  • FS JeffFS Jeff Posts: 373 Moderator
    The limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, or EEZ. It's on the chart, basically halfway across.

    This crops up every year, and every year there's a long debate on the Forum. I'll chime in just this once.

    You may or may not like the answer, but this is it. I've confirmed all this with NOAA (U.S.) enforcement agents and the Head of Maritime Affairs for Bahamas Defense Forces, and I have a copy at my desk of Bahamas statutes Chap. 232 and 244, synopsis of which follows:

    The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is claimed by both the United States and Bahamas, in this particular case is bounded at the midpoint between the two nations. It's on your chart, guaranteed.

    Yes, territorial waters of the Bahamas extend outward 12 miles from outmost point of land or exposed reef. . . but the nation holds claim to fisheries resources beyond that point, out to 200 nautical miles... or to midpoint between its and another nation's EEZ.

    So... if you plan to fish on the "other side" of that long gray line (the EEZ), you must obtain permission from The Bahamas (Chap. 244 Sec. 7(d)) in the form of a cruising/fishing permit. http://www.bahamas.com/vacation-planning/private-boat

    It's very likely that after going through the trouble of checking in, you'll later speak with fishermen who ran to "the corner" without checking in. And on some Forums, you'll receive a different answer.

    The Bahamas to my knowledge has not been actively enforcing its claims to the EEZ. Such was the case with Cuba in 2004, when NOAA issued an emergency notice informing mariners that Cuba was now "actively enforcing." Whether such a notice precedes Bahamas enforcement efforts is anyone's guess, however I wouldn't want to be the first U.S. vessel boarded without a fishing permit on their side of the line. . .
    Jeff Weakley
  • MenziesMenzies Posts: 19,289 AG
    The 200 miles isn't just the Bahamas. I vividly remember the territorial wars over Brtitish and Irish fishing rights - including the sinking of a Spanish fishing vessel by the Irish navy a while back.

    From Wiki.

    Exclusive economic zoneAn exclusive economic zone extends from the outer limit of the territorial sea to a maximum of 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) from the territorial sea baseline, thus it includes the contiguous zone.[3] A coastal nation has control of all economic resources within its exclusive economic zone, including fishing, mining, oil exploration, and any pollution of those resources. However, it cannot prohibit passage or loitering above, on, or under the surface of the sea that is in compliance with the laws and regulations adopted by the coastal State in accordance with the provisions of the UN Convention, within that portion of its exclusive economic zone beyond its territorial sea. Before 1982, coastal nations arbitrarily extended their territorial waters in an effort to control activities which are now regulated by the exclusive economic zone, such as offshore oil exploration or fishing rights (see Cod Wars). Indeed, the exclusive economic zone
    Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an App, they will start using it.
  • dpdashdpdash Posts: 5,359 Admiral
    While we all greatly appreciate you clearing this up "just this once", this exact subject has been covered in great detail in the past many times with alot of good discussion, too bad we can't search for the old threads and have access to them.:rotflmao
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,140 AG
    dpdash wrote: »
    too bad we can't search for the old threads and have access to them.:rotflmao

    Exactly! I used to just attach links to discussion threads when guys would ask about going to the Bahamas, how to clear Customs, etc. Now, people here no longer have access to all of that great info.......

    WHY NOT?????
  • MenziesMenzies Posts: 19,289 AG
    Gary M wrote: »
    Exactly! I used to just attach links to discussion threads when guys would ask about going to the Bahamas, how to clear Customs, etc. Now, people here no longer have access to all of that great info.......

    WHY NOT?????

    Bahamian Triangle got 'em.
    Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an App, they will start using it.
  • Fireman BillFireman Bill Posts: 571 Officer
    Look at the chart for the EEZ line. East of the line is Bahamian and west of the line is US waters. It is not confusing or difficult to understand except for those that do not want to hear that the EEZ IS the boundary. Check in fish and have no worries. Observe their regulations and possession limits and it is all good. Bogus receipts for lobster, fish and conch can cause way to much grief for me. You also must be aware of the possession rules on our side when you are returning. Lobster must be in season in the US and it is my understanding that you may not bring conch back with you. You are not permitted to be in possession of conch in US waters. I made numerous calls all the way to the top of the FWC and I was told the same thing all the way to the top. The Lacey Act is a very large law that you do not want to be in violation of not to mention being in trouble with Immigration officers in two counties.
  • Bite N HoldBite N Hold Posts: 1,328 Officer
    Fireman- So if you have conch salad or fritters on board in the US are you in violation? If no, then how isthat any different than having a legally caught, cleaned conch on board?
    FOR SALE-Old Homosassa Vacation Rental
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    "No matter the size of the fish, you can only put a bite size peice in your mouth."
  • Fireman BillFireman Bill Posts: 571 Officer
    I can only tell you what the FWC told me. You can not be in possession of conch on your vessel in Florida waters. The rule that they read to me said nothing about where you caught them it said you may not possess them on your vessel. They explained to me it was written that way so there is no gray about whether you caught them here or in the Bahamas. If you are out cruising around locally and bought a conch salad in from a restaurant I suppose that is another story. It was my understanding that unless you were commercially licensed to import conch you can not bring them back on your vessel. I spent an entire afternoon on the phone researching this issue. I lead the world in being boarded by various law enforcement agencies so I make sure I comply with and understand all the rules. I am not sure why I have been boarded so many times but it certainly has made me keep up with the rules. Will you get caught if you cheat? Maybe yes maybe no. I have been boarded as many as three times in a single day by three different agencies crossing from Ft.Lauderdale to Bimini.

    Fireman Bill
  • producebproduceb Posts: 95 Greenhorn
    reel deal wrote: »
    whats the offshore distance of bahamas law to not violate customs and not check in

    If you are just cruising by you dont have to clear US or Bahamas if you stay 12 miles off the coast or bank for Bahamas. That what I understand of the EEZ rules, harvesting fish is another not as clear discussion. Most EEZ's are 200 miles from the coast the EEZ with the bahamas and US overlap making different rules we had to work out with the Bahamas.
  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    dpdash wrote: »
    While we all greatly appreciate you clearing this up "just this once", this exact subject has been covered in great detail in the past many times with alot of good discussion, too bad we can't search for the old threads and have access to them.:rotflmao

    It has been made abuntantly clear that. . . "searching for the old threads" . . . is not going to happen. Get a life and move on. :Agree
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