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Three bills were passed in the House of assembly before the House adjourned for the year. One bill added Andros Island to the Family islands development Encouragement Act, making it exempt from customs duties on building materials. A Copyright Act gives greater protection to Bahamian musicians, writers and artists. It also gives protection to international artists and movie distributors. The third bill, the Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Act, provides for the preservation, conservation, restoration, documentation, study and presentation of objects of historical, anthropological, archaeological and palaeontological interest.
Major crime is down in The Bahamas, says Commissioner of Police BK Bonamy. In the first ten months 0f 1997, police figures showed that murders were down 17%, attempted murders 40%, manslaughter 67% and rape 6%.
Bahamian waters are in danger of being over-fished, according to President of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce Neil McKinney. He was particularly concerned about grouper fishing in their spawning areas. In a related move, Florida Sportsman Magazine has urged the Government of The Bahamas to reconsider the use of fish traps. Although long-line fishing is outlawed, fish trapping is still legal and is seriously depleting Bahamian fish stocks.
A Defence Force veteran, Leading Seaman Jeffrey Gibson, drowned in waters off New Providence while assisting in the towing of a Dominican Republic fishing boat from Cay Lobos to Nassau. Gibson and another officer were on board the vessel with six Dominican republic fishermen when it took on water and sank. Gibson's body was recovered in the wreck four days after the sinking.
Governor-General Sir Orville Turnquest welcomed Heads of State from Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica and St Lucia for three days of a CARICOM Heads of State meeting. Heads of State in Caribbean countries which were formerly British territories and maintain a parliamentary system are usually Governors-General, representatives of the Queen. The agenda included the establishment of a Caribbean Heritage Foundation, initiatives for the deepening of democracy and consideration of the Caribbean male crisis.
The Bahamas was a signatory to the Land Mines Treaty signed in Ottawa on 3rd December.
The Bahamas is one of the nations in particular peril if global warming predictions are at all accurate. It is listed as one of the island nations of the world which would be seriously affected within the next 100 years because much of the land lies less than 10 feet (3 metres) above mean sea level. The other seriously endangered countries are Kiribati, the Maldives and the Marshall Islands.
BaTelCo will become privatised by the end of 1998 and BEC early in 1999 according to Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson. He believes both corporations will be far more profitable once released from the constraints of government.
According to the nation's leading newspaper, The Tribune of Nassau, a buyer for the restaurant at the Bluff House, Green Turtle Cay, was charged with possessing crawfish of illegal size. Manager of the restaurant Mr Martin Havell pointed out that crawfish for the restaurant was bought frozen in bags and the restaurant had no way of ensuring the legality of their size at the time of purchase. The presiding magistrate Deputy Island Administrator Jack Thompson accepted a guilty plea but imposed no fine and requested that the crawfish be returned to the restaurant. This decision, it was reported, upset many local fishermen as it undermined the authority of the local Fisheries Officers.
Table of ContentsCopyright © 1997