UNSPECIFIED. (2000) The Bahamas. MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, 41 (1-6). pp. 94-111. ISSN 0025-326XFull text not available from this repository.
The archipelago of the Bahamas contains the largest tropical shallow mater area in the Western Atlantic. Located on the northern and eastern margins of two large submerged banks and a number of smaller more isolated banks, the Bahama Islands, of which there are over 700, are low-lying and composed of limestone. A sub-tropical climate and a geographic position between two major warm ocean currents affect the region with seasonal variability, which influences the biological communities inhabiting the ocean and coastal areas.
The Bahama Banks are separated from the North American continent by the Florida Straits and from each other by deep channels, some in excess of 2000 m. Two deep wafer channels cut into the larger Great Bahama Bank. Most of the marine area is shallow (<<20 m), resulting in an extremely important marine resource with both ecological and economic value.
The Bahama Islands are dependent on their seas to maintain a GDP of US$ 2.7 billion through tourism and harvest of marine resources. To date, the fishing industry has benefited from the relatively high ecological productivity of the shallow banks and their related habitats. Commercially important fisheries include Spiny Lobster, conch and nassau grouper which, together, make up the bulk of fisheries income.
Clear warm waters and white sand beaches, along with its close proximity to the USA, make the Bahamas a prime tourist destination. Tourism is the mainstay of the Bahamian economy, accounting for 60% of the gross domestic product.
Agricultural and forestry operations are limited and impacts in the coastal tow horn these are negligible. However, land reclamation and construction for tourism development, along with sand mining, dredging, overfishing, poor fishing practices and their respective impacts of habitat loss, beach erosion and over-exploitation of target and non-target marine resources are becoming increasingly apparent as developmental pressures grow.
Environmental regulations are in place through a number of parliamentary acts. Management of established marine and coastal protected areas has been undertaken by the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), which along with other organisations, carry out environmental education programs to increase awareness and reduce impact on the marine and coastal areas of the archipelago. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
|Journal or Publication Title:||MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN|
|Publisher:||PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD|
|Official Date:||January 2000|
|Number of Pages:||18|
|Page Range:||pp. 94-111|
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