"there is also a lot, and maybe more instances of DIYers camping or worse yet, living out of their cars, leaving trash, and generally interfering with the local fishing customs, and thus not only not contributing to the local economy, but in fact being a drain on it."
NMBROWNCOM, I strongly disagree with you here. I have never seen someone camping or living out of their car on Eleuthera, Acklins, Crooked, Long Island or Andros. Not that it doesn't happen, but there is no way that more people camp or live in their car while diy fishing than stay at local houses or hotels. And where do they get their car from? Rented from a local. In fact I'm fairly certain that camping is illegal in the Bahamas.
In fact, all Island mentioned, except crooked, have diy fishing operations on them, supported or run by Bahamians.
Furthermore, to say these diy anglers are leaving trash is a strong assumption. Sadly, some of the Bahamians don't seem to mind leaving their own trash around, and much of what you see along the beaches is washed up from faraway places, having drifted in the ocean currents.
And how are DIY fishermen a drain on the local economy? And interfering with local fishing customs?
Many people that try bonefishing diy style get hooked and quickly realize that with a guide their odds are greatly increased and they come back and hire a guide, or go to a lodge on their next trip.
I run DIY trips, and also trips to high end lodges, and I have many clients that go on both, and enjoy both. And both types of trips contribute to the local economy. The only difference between the two is that on the diy trips the guides may not benefit as much, though on many of my diy trips the guys (and gals) will hire a guide also.
On most islands, without a boat you can only scratch the surface of the flats that are available to the guides. Lodges and diy fishing can co-exist easily on most islands.
A non-resident fishing license would be a good idea, and I agree with that. Of course whatever the Bahamians decide to do is what we'll all have to live with.
Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters
God does not deduct from man's alloted time the hours spent fishing.