Sunday, February 28, 2010

Minister of State for Immigration resigns

Submitted by BIS

Statement by
 Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham
Prime Minister

28 February 2010

Resignation of Hon. Branville McCartney

The Hon. W. A. Branville McCartney, Minister of State for Immigration, today informed me by letter of his resignation from the Cabinet. Mr. McCartney was also kind enough to share with me a copy of a press release he intends to issue with regard to his resignation.

While the resignation of a Minister or Minister of State is always regretable, I cannot say that I am completely surprised by Mr. McCartney’s decision.

Each of us in politics are bound to follow what we believe to be the best course of action in the interest of the people we are privileged to represent and in accordance with our own convictions and perceptions at any given time. I have no doubt that Mr. McCartney, as he indicates, has given serious consideration to the action he has taken.

I regret that in the forefront of his considerations leading to this decision are, as he put it, “my feelings of stagnation and the inability to fully utilize my political potential at this time”. I should only like to remind him of what he himself says in his press release, which is “that in life nothing comes before its time”.

I thank Mr. McCartney for his service to the Bahamian people and to my Government. My colleagues and I look forward to working closely with him in the best interest of the people of the Bamboo Town Constituency and the country as a whole.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Results of the GBAWC Home Centre Golf Classic

1st Place Team — Bill Willms, Jo Morasco, Colin Bundred, David Fingland
By Joy Larsen

Freeport, Bahamas - The youth of Grand Bahama Island, and in particular, the high school scholarship students (currently 17) were the beneficiaries of the 7th. annual Grand Bahama American Women's Club (GBAWC) golf tournament, The Home Centre Classic, which was held on Saturday, February 20. Harsh economic times made the work of the organizing committee much more difficult, but the wonderfully resilient people of Freeport/Lucaya rallied to the challenge. Many local businesses and individuals took up the slack and eighty golfers enjoyed playing Our Lucaya Reef Course for this annual event.

Upon arrival participants were greeted by scholarship recipients and presented with a wonderful gift of Clarins beauty products.

2nd. Place Team — John Biggs, Gordon Ince, Margaret Ward, Chuck Madill

Check the 2010 "Wall of Honour" at the entrance to The Home Centre and patronize those who have given to this, the GBAWC's only annual fundraiser.

For 7 years Freeport Jet Wash & Auto Mart has added to the excitement by providing a car to be won by the first golfer to have a hole-in-one on the #4 par three — and each year the car has been driven back to the showroom. This year they also made it possible to win a substantial prize for a hole-in-one on the other par 3 holes at Our Lucaya Reef Course. Kendall Munroe, a golfer who came from Nassau especially to support the GBAWC was speechless when, on his second last hole, #8 he had a direct hit and his ball dropped into the hole! Congratulations Kendall on your first hole-in-one — his prize, a high end golf package.
The awards reception following the play was enjoyed by golfers, their "cheering section" and many volunteers and, as always. the eats were delicious. This year, not only did GBAWC members work their magic in the kitchen, but students at The College of the Bahamas Culinary Arts Division volunteered as, "Kids helping Kids" in the preparation of ingredients provided by GBAWC members and The Bell Channel Inn surprised everyone by donating a chaffing dish of mouth-watering conch fritters.
3rd. Place Team — Greg Vincent, Emily Galesowski, Brian Taylor, Greg Farrington

Then it was on to "Golf Jeopardy", as introduced by Martha Cartwright at The Home Centre Classic 2009 and, this year, conducted by GBAWC President, Lanelle Phillips — great fun!

Prior to the Awards Presentation, Mr Michael Weber, recently appointed, General Manager at Our Lucaya addressed the group and we are sure that he quickly learned what makes this tournament tick and just how very important it is in raising money to support and educate the youth of Grand Bahama Island.

There was a tie for 1st Place and the winners were decided by the lowest team score on hole #2.

The winning teams were:
1st. Place — Bill Willms
Jo Morasco
Colin Bundred
David Fingland

2nd. Place — John Biggs
Gordon Ince
Margaret Ward
Chuck Madill

3rd. Place — Greg Vincent
Emily Galesowski
Brian Taylor
Greg Farrington
Hole-in-One winner Kendall Munroe

In conjunction with the golf tournament a raffle was held — the premium prize, 3days/2 nights donated by Sandals International Resorts at any of their locations in the Caribbean, was won by GBAWC member, Rachael Jacquart.

The Billfish Foundation is pleased Bahamian government is responding in a positive manner

Town Meeting on tuna netting issues, at the BNT in Freeport , Monday, March 1st


Ft. LAUDERDALE, Fla. , USA -- The Billfish Foundation (TBF) is pleased the Bahamian government is taking a quick response in addressing the issue of whether to permit the use of purse seine netting gear in its waters.

The concern began mid-February when two brothers in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island , wanting to start a commercial Bahamian purse seine netting operation for yellowfin tuna, attempted to obtain permits to begin operating much to the frustration of conservation groups and sports fishing interests.

“The negative response from anglers, captains, mates, tournament directors and conservation associations was immediate and forceful,” said TBF president Ellen Peel.

TBF, a non-profit association for the conservation of billfish, sent a letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Lawrence Cartwright, detailing the egregious error of permitting purse seiners to operate in their waters.

The purse seine style of net hangs vertically and employs rings at the bottom in which a rope is fed through. As the boat deploys the net wrapping it around a school of fish the rope is pulled closing the net, not allowing the targeted fish, nor the trapped billfish, mammals, sea turtles and other species to escape below, adding to overfishing.

“In response the Bahamian government issued a statement that it is ‘not minded’ to permit the use of the netting gear and in so doing acknowledged the economic importance of sportfishing to their tourism industry and the threat such net gear could render to their marine species.”

Peel added that the robust sportfishing tourism economy driven by the availability of marlin and sailfish in the Bahamian waters would collapse if there were no billfish to catch.

“The Bahamas took the lead in 1977 to ban longlining in its waters, many years before Florida banned nets, and it now boosts an outstanding marine ecosystem.

“Working together good conservation pays off economically and ecologically.”

Town Meeting in Freeport , Monday to address the netting issue

Though the minister issued his opposition statement to permitting netting, TBF has learned the government, through the Grand Bahamas Regional Committee of the Bahamas National Trust, will host a town meeting in Freeport to discuss the netting of tuna in its waters.

It will take place Monday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the BNT’s Rand Nature Center on E. Settlers Way.

For more information phone 242-352-5438.

Each individual wishing to speak will be allowed five minutes to present their information to the government representatives. For those who cannot attend the meeting they can send their comments to the Honorable Larry Cartwright, Minister of Agriculture & Marine Resources at and copy to the Bahamas National Trust on their website at:

With its world headquarters based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. , The Billfish Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to conserving and enhancing billfish populations worldwide. By coordinating efforts and speaking with one voice, the organization works for solutions that are good for billfish, not punitive to recreational anglers and good for the local economy. The TBF web site can be found at and phone number is 800-438-8247

Friday, February 26, 2010

Agriculture/Marine Ministry must produce some answers

Freeport News
Freeport, Grand Bahama- The controversial "long net" issue just will not go away. It is the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources that now has to sort the matter out in the interest of fairplay to all parties concerned.

We make no defence here for David and Paul Mellor, the brothers who have invested in a fishing project, they claim will harvest and farm turna. They call their entity the Bahamas Pelagic Aquaculture Tuna Fishing Program.

While the ministry seems to be ducking and dodging, hoping to come out of this one looking at least adequate, some questions must be asked.

Did the director of marine resources in fact send an e-mail message to the Mellors informing them that they now "have the opportunity to target yellowfin tuna?

What exactly does "opportunity to target yellowfin tuna" mean?

Is that not in essence, permission?

Are the two young Bahamian brothers being frustrated in their upfront attempt to engage in an aspect of the fishing industry that could mean job opportunities for scores of persons and millions of dollars into a sagging economy?

Why were they not discouraged from the project by the ministry before making the investment of securing a vessel and equipment?

Could not the ministry provide officers to watch the proposed operation to ensure that (as promised by the Mellor brothers) no harm is done to the sea life?

Isn't this what the ministry is supposed to be doing in any event?

What's being done about the great poaching element that is reportedly milking the waters of The Bahamas "illegally" daily?

Those who are against a permit being officially granted to the Mellors present a good argument. It just does not seem possible for a mile radius of netting to be able to process exactly the fish sought, secure them and safely filter the others so that they could return to their habitat, without any harm being done.

This would be a monumental task indeed. But, the brothers say they can do it. They say the net is compartmentalized to do exactly that. Well, it seems then, that the ministry needs to step in with their officers who are employed to monitor such proceedings in the interest of the rules and regulations being kept at all times.

It's looking more and more like the ministry has dropped the ball on this one. It took a landslide amount of opposition for a statement denying the permit to be produced.

Now, the Mellors have in their posession, this interesting bit of communication.

Surely the ministry has some answers to give.

Minister Larry Cartwright, you're on the spot.

Your director, Braynen, must either deny the e-mail or explain it.

The next move is that of the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

NEW from Chef Worly-(The chef behind Sabor)

The Basic Cookbook from TheBasicCookBook.Com on Vimeo.
Volli & son is a recipe share network with the noble goal of inspiring people to cook with simple yet delicious videos and recipes.

Become a fan on facebook and receive a weekly video from our chef!
Taken from

Hello and welcome to The Basic

My name is Volundur S. Volundarson – but my friends call me “Volli”.

I started cooking back in 1990 when I was 17 years old. I love food and I love cooking. Shortly after my graduation I left my native country Iceland to explore the world and it’s many tastes. I travelled all over the world, experiencing new things and working in different restaurants. After a year at Charlie Trotters in Chicago I moved to the Bahamas where I run my own restaurant. My life as a bachelor was pretty basic. I went to work early in the morning and was usually the last person to leave in the evenings.

In 2006 I met my wife. Two years later we were blessed with our son – and I have to say that no experience compares to parenthood. It also gave me a new perspective on life. I stayed more at home and since I cook for a living I was automatically put in charge of the family meals.

What I discovered – much to my surprise – was that I loved simple home-style cooking – not to mention the precious time that we share as a family during meals. My culinary philosophy is simple – I focus on fresh, healthy ingredients – that taste grate and that everyone at the table can enjoy – even my two year old son.

The idea of The Basic Cookbook came about when I wanted to share some of my recipes that I cook at home with my family and friends – but I decided to take it to the next level and give everyone interested the opportunity to make use of them as well – and share with their family and friends.

I have made short cooking tutorials that I will post on this site and on our Facebook Fan Page. I will be doing so every week so you should hopefully find some recipes that you want to try out.

I also encourage you to become a part of our cooking community and share your own recipes or try something that you see on the website. And please – feel free to share a recipe in any language…

My main goal is to inspire people to cook by demonstrating how simple it is…

I hope you enjoy.



NYC Comedy Club Returns to Grand Bahama March 12th and 13th

Returning comedian, Ricardo Aleman

By The Bahamas Weekly News Team

Freeport, Bahamas - It's back! If you missed the NYC Comedy Club show last year put on by the Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society, you don't want to miss it this time!

As the Society continues its pledge to encourage a wide-range of art forms on the island they are pleased to present three stand-up comics from celebrated comedy clubs of New York City who this visit will perform two shows in Grand Bahama on March 12th and 13th.

Returning from last year is Mexican-American Ricardo Aleman who has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland as well as being a regular on the Sirius Radio show “Four Quotas” and a performer in NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent”. Ricardo is also the webmaster for, the first and only comedy specific social networking website, as well as the home of the hit interactive comedy/variety show "LateNet with Ray Ellin."
Ray Ellin

Honoured as one of the “Ten Standout Stand-Ups Worth Watching” by Back Stage magazine, Ray Ellin is comedy's renaissance man: comic, television host, actor, writer and filmmaker and the host of “LateNet with Ray Ellin,” the first comedy/variety show to combine both in-studio and online audiences, live. The show features A-List celebrities, top comedians, and musical guests, and has included Hank Azaria, Chevy Chase, Fran Drescher, Leonard Nimoy, and many others.

Russ Meneve

Russ Meneve, a New Jersey native has been performing comedy in and around New York City for the past eight years where he has honed his skills to an edge as sharp as his material. Russ made his debut on The Tonight Show with rave reviews from host, Jay Leno. Russ is a regular performer at "Comedy Cellar", the "Comic Strip" and "Caroline's". He is a founder of the "New York Comedians Coalition" with over 300 other New York based comedians as their members in order to represent the comedians of the city and to negotiate better payment for comedians performing in the clubs. He means funny business!

Stayed tuned for ticket and venue details on this exciting show not to be missed.

If laughter is the best medicine, you don't want to miss getting your dose! With three headliners, the laughs are guaranteed!

The Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society was created to bring professional artists and performers from around the world to audiences in Grand Bahama. Drawing from Bahamian and international talent, a number of performances are planned throughout the year. Proceeds are used for the advancement of Grand Bahama students of the performing arts.

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LETS TALK REAL ESTATE - When you Buy you must protect your Investment

BY James Sarles

It appears that the world wide real estate market is showing some signs of recovery in 2010 and this will slowly effect our local real estate market in a positive way. On Grand Bahama Island we never have experienced the real estate boom so fortunately we were spared the bust that our neighbors across the water experienced. Our banking system has always leaned towards conservative loans so they never found themselves with the volume of bad loans like the banks in the States.

As anyone who has tried to get a mortgage from the local banks knows the banks do a very thorough job and they do not make it easy to borrow money. However if you look at the high unemployment rate in Freeport and look at the bank ads for foreclosed property you will see we have a lot of properties that the banks are still forced to liquidate due to our economy. So what does all this mean for our local real estate market. Well for one it is very much a buyers market so if you are in a position to buy there are some great deals out there. My advice to “would be” buyers is to work with your licensed BREA (Bahamas Real Estate Association) broker to find the deals and make an offer. The only way you will ever know what a seller will accept for their property is to make an offer. 

The real estate agent does not own the property so they can not tell you exactly what a seller will accept because if you make an offer below the list price it will be up to the seller to accept or reject the offer. When you make a formal offer through your BREA broker you will get an acceptance or at least a counter offer of what the seller will accept. If you don’t make an offer you will never know. 

Now you’ve done your due diligence, found a great deal, made an offer and bought your house you are probably breathing a sigh of relief once you’ve finished moving into your home, thinking, “we’ll never move out of this house”. But always keep in mind that sooner or later you may one day move from this “dream” property so it is very important to maintain the house to protect your investment. We have found at Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty that even the most satisfied owners over time have a reason to sell their dream home. Unexpected circumstances such as job relocation, health crises or changes in marital status may require you to put your home on the market. Suddenly, the value of your property is a major issue. For those of you who have lived in your house for a number of years, chances are you have postponed a few needed repairs and upgrades. Homeowners who plan on remaining in their homes indefinitely can develop a tendency to overlook the little things that go wrong – leaky faucets, stained carpets, aging appliances that somehow keep working but lose energy efficiency with every passing day. You think, “I’ll fix that next weekend”, but you go out fishing or watch your favorite sports event instead, and eventually cover the carpet stain with an attractive new throw rug.
But once it’s time to sell your home, those “little problems” can suddenly add up to a long list of deferred maintenance items. When someone puts a serious offer on your property, the potential buyer’s home inspector will go over your house with a discriminating eye trained to notice features that either add to or detract from the value of your investment. A prospective purchaser who notices the carpet stain will immediately be on the lookout for other blemishes. As a seller, you will either need to take care of these issues as a condition of the sale or reduce the selling price to compensate the buyer for making the needed repairs later on.

There are two effective ways to increase the resale value of your home while you live in it. The first is to handle repairs as they come up. Replace the worn kitchen faucet now and you will conserve water and eliminate an irritating drip that you won’t have to listen to. Each time you fix something, you improve the quality of your home life while reducing the list of problems the home inspector will find.

The second way to protect the resale value of your home is to enhance your house with new features and facilities that make it a more comfortable place to live. Start by deciding which rooms or systems could benefit from upgrading, and then ask your real estate agent to recommend a local contractor who specializes in remodeling.
Renovations that add value to a property include additional bedrooms, central air conditioning, improved kitchens and upgraded bathrooms. Renovations could include a three-car garage, a media room with built-in viewing screens, or a master suite with breakfast sunroom, walk-in closets and a luxury bathroom. Popular amenities that attract the attention of buyers include high-speed Internet wiring, home security systems and kitchen features such as an oversized sub-zero stainless steel refrigerator, a double convection oven and a built-in wine storage area.

Protect the resale value of your property with a winning blend of timely home maintenance and well-chosen home improvements, and you will never regret your diligence. Until Next week.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

MSC’s Mega Container Vessel makes History

MSC’s Mega Tomoko in Grand Bahama – MSC’s largest container vessel made its maiden voyage to The Bahamas in February 2010. Built in 2006, MSC Tomoko stretches 1091 feet long and 142 feet wide. The call of MSC Tomoko means locals can take advantage of an all water service from China directly to the Bahamas. The visit of the MSC Tomoko is another major step in the continued commitment of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to Freeport Container Port and to The Bahamas.

By Taylor Ferguson

Freeport , Grand Bahama – The Tomoko, Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) massive container ship, glided into the Lucayan Harbour Wednesday, February 17, 2009 . The 95,000 ton MSC Tomoko was piloted by Master Mariner Captain Tihomir Djura Andric and made history as the largest container vessel to ever call on The Bahamas and berth at The Freeport Container Port.

The Tomoko, built in 2006, stretches 1091 feet long and 142 feet wide. The vessel can hold the equivalent of 8,400 TEU’s (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units). This is more than double the capacity of the average container ship, which can only carry about 4,000. Compared to the size of a Navy aircraft carrier, Tomoko is not only the largest container vessel to ever visit Grand Bahama or The Bahamas, but also the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

The ‘monster’ of a ship, as it is being called, visited ports in New York, Baltimore and Norfolk on its maiden voyage, before arriving in Grand Bahama. The route took it through the Suez Canal, which unlike the Panama Canal can accommodate vessels of this size. The great ship draws 45 to 46 feet of water.
MSC, the world's second-largest container shipping line has made an indelible mark in The Bahamas with its Bahamas headquarters here in Freeport. MSC Bahamas has made enormous strides since it began operations here in 2001. The visit of the MSC Tomoko is another major step in the continued commitment of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to Freeport Container Port and to The Bahamas.

MSC Tomoko Stacked – The MSC Tomoko is shown docked at the Freeport Container Port full of 40-foot containers. This massive container vessel can hold the equivalent of 8,400 TEU’s (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units). This is more than double the capacity of the average container ship, which can only carry about 4,000. On its maiden voyage, the Tomoko traveled thru the Suez Canal and to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States before docking in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

MSC has easily become the direct link from Asia to The Bahamas. The call of MSC Tomoko and vessels like it to The Bahamas means locals can take advantage of an all water service from China directly to the Bahamas. The upgrade in fleet by MSC not only offers customers shipments on a single Bill of Lading; allowing them to avoid roll overs at the port of loading (due to bigger capacity), but it also means the shipper can take advantage of the economy of scales.

The Tomoko is visiting Freeport as part of a relatively new service operated by MSC dubbed the Golden Gate Service, which features several ships, most of them smaller in size than MSC Tomoko. Its circuit includes: New York; Baltimore; Norfolk; Freeport, Bahamas; the Suez Canal, Jedha, Saudi Arabia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Singapore; Chiwan, China; Hong Kong; Shanghai; Ningbo, China; Chiwan, China; Yiantian, China; Singapore; Salalah, Oman.

MSC Bahamas began its services in 2001 with six service options through the Freeport Container Port with an annual volume of less than 700 thousand shipments. Today, those services and that volume have grown by leaps and bounds. Building on its notable successes in Grand Bahama, MSC Geneva answered a demand for service in Nassau and expanded there in late 2007.The employee count jumped from three back in 2001 to nearly sixty today.

The MSC Tomoko left Freeport on Friday morning headed back through the Suez Canal to Hong Kong . Another large MSC vessel is expected in port next week.

Government set to amend net fishing law


Tribune Staff Reporter

THE government is set to amend the law to prohibit "purse seine" or net fishing in The Bahamas after receiving a flood of calls and e-mails from concerned Bahamians, environmentalists and sportsfishermen fearing that a large fishing vessel is set to wreak havoc on Bahamian tuna stocks using the controversial fishing method.

In a release issued yesterday by the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Government said it is "not minded to permit the use of purse seine or net fishing within the waters of The Bahamas" and will now make the necessary amendments to the Fisheries Conservation (Jurisdiction and Conversation) Act and Regulations to close a legislative loophole that would have made it legal to do so.

Their swift action comes after alarm was raised two weeks ago over the presence of a large fishing vessel docked in Freeport which is allegedly outfitted to become the first to engage in tuna netting on a mass commercial scale in Bahamian waters.

After a number of concerned citizens contacted the media about the boat, which was said to have a "purse seine net" -- a deep, basket type net recognised for not only being able to capture large quantities of schooling fish such as tuna, but also other marine creatures like dolphins and turtles -- the Bahamas National Trust also advised the Government "to re-consider any permits issued to the vessel in question and to move swiftly to enact policy to outlaw this unsustainable form of fishing."

In doing so, said the BNT, the Government would "prevent what would undoubtedly be the beginning of the end of our sportsfishing industry."

"It would appear that the fishing vessel currently in Freeport plans to target yellowfin tuna. Yellowfin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean are managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)."

"Stock assessments to date have determined that yellowfin tuna are fully exploited in the Atlantic with harvest levels near maximum sustainable yield. Concerns are growing over increasing catches of Yellowfin tuna, especially by longline fleets that are making unregulated harvests in the Atlantic outside the authority of ICCAT," the BNT said.

Some fisheries experts, the BNT said, believe that with the Atlantic harvest of tuna near maximum sustainable yields that the warm waters of the Bahamas and the Caribbean may be the last stronghold of this important fishery species.

The BNT called purse seine netting a "destructive method" of fishing that involves "indiscriminately catching not only adult tuna but also immature tuna, thus dealing the fishery the additional blow of juvenile mortality."

Meanwhile, a group called "Stop Commercial Fishing of Yellowfin Tuna in The Bahamas" launched earlier this month in response to the perceived threat posed by the Freeport-based fishing vessel had collected 2,315 vocal supporters as of yesterday.

In its statement, the Ministry agreed that purse seine or net fishing could result in the possible depletion or significant reduction of the fishing stocks in Bahamian waters.

It said the decision to move to outlaw the activity was taken "having regard to the importance of sportfishing to the tourism industry."

Amended legislation will "prohibit the use of purse seine or net fishing to ensure that all fisheries resources, including migratory fish, are maintained at sustainable levels."

Opposition grows against Mellor brothers' vessel


Freeport News Reporter
David & Paul Mellor

More environmental organizations are speaking out in protest against the tuna fishing program posed by brothers, David and Paul Mellor.

The Friends of the Evironment (FRIENDS), Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization (BMMRO) and many local fishermen have joined the long list of those opposed to The Bahamas Pelagic Aquaculture Tuna Program.

The Mellors have stated that the program that they hope to establish in the Bahamas, will facilitate and promote through scientific research and technical results the development of a substainable and profitable aquaculture industry that would be internationally recognized.

This plan also includes the harvesting of yellow fin tuna with a purse-seine net in the waters of Grand Bahama Abaco and and the Tongue of the Ocean.

The FRIENDS organization, along with others are urging the Bahamas Government to prohibit the Mellor's $2 million dollar vessel from fishing in our waters due to the current dismal state of yellow fin tuna stocks and the inevitable threat of by-catch (such as marine mammals, sea turtles, sharks and juveniles of many species).

"We have come to understand that current legislation does not provide The Bahamas government with the grounds to deny a permit request by the Bahamian operators of this vessel,' the statement read.

"FRIENDS urges the government to place a moratorium on purse-seine net fishing until proper legislation to ban such unsustainable fishing methods can be put into place. In the past, similar actions have been taken by The Bahamas Government with successful results, such as the moratorium on wild dolphin capture."

FRIENDS said The Bahamas government should deny any requests for permits to net yellow fin tuna in Bahamian waters and to support and implement more sustainable fishing methods.

"Currently, The Bahamas Government is investigating international certifications for our marine re-sources. The FRIENDS organization is of the view that experimenting with purse-seine netting in Bahamian waters is counter-productive to the country's goals to be more sustainable."

Meanwhile, the BMMRO issued a letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Lawrence Cart-wright expressing concern about a permit to use a purse-seine vessel to fish for yellow-fin tuna in The Bahamas.

"Due to the lack of current regulations to govern such fishing activities, I urge your Ministry to decline the requested fishing permit for this vessel and to immediately place a moratorium on large-scale pelagic fishing operations until regulations are in place to ensure the sustainable use of our pelagic marine resources," the letter read.

"Purse-seine fisheries are well documented to incidentally catch many non-target species during fishing operations. Many of these species carry high economic and social value in The Bahamas both for Bahamians and tourists, primarily through the sport-fishing industry."

The letter furthered that tuna aggregates with other species so when a purse-seine net surrounds a tuna school, everything in the surface waters are caught as well, including juvenile and adult billfish, mahi mahi, jacks, triggerfish, and even pelagic dolphins.

"So, although current tuna harvests in the Atlantic are reported by the International Commission for the Conser-vation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) at near sustainable levels, there are concerns that the indiscriminate by-catch in purse-seine fishing may result in the collapse of pelagic ecosystems on which many species depend, including our resident populations of dolphins and whales."

The BMMRO said now is not the time for compromises or experimentation with new fishing methods – without adequate regulations because we simply have too much to lose.

Recently the The Bahamas National Trust also issued a statement against this type of fishing.

President of The Marina Operators of the Bahamas, John Bethell, spoke out on the matter and said that this type of fishing could not be good for The Bahamas.

"We're going to join with the National Trust and FRIENDS and the other organizations that have spoken out against this and lend our support to it. I mean it certainly isn't a good thing. You know, we try to encourage people to come over here and fish, and you have this one guy that's going to go out and catch all the fish, kind of thing. It's items like that and action like that that make it better if we speak as one."

Local fisherman, Peter Rose said that back in the 1930s, to the 80s he and his collegues fished blue fin tuna, which can hardly be found now in Bahamain waters.

"Nothing was regulated back then. We just went out and killed it, hung it up took a picture of it and then we dumped them in the ocean. Now there is no blue fin in the Bahamas. If we see two or three a year we are lucky," he said.

"We have destroyed an entire population of fish by simple line fishing. We can't let this happen to the yellow fin tuna with such large scale fishing."

Rose said that this could not only affect our marine resources but our tourism industry as well.

"Marinas depend on getting tourist in to fish who want to catch tuna. If they know that this is gonig on we will be boycoted. They would no longer have a reason to come here. If our government can't see that and step forward and be one of the only countries in the world that will not allow this then we shouldn't put them back in to power during the next election," Rose said.

The Mellors have maintained that in no way are they trying to deplete the tuna resources in our waters but are aiming to establish a type of aquaculture.

If managed correctly, the brothers said that it could create jobs for Bahamians and ensure that The Bahamas and the world's tuna stock continue to stay at near perfect levels.

The Freeport News made numerous attempts to contact officals from the Department of Marine Resources on the matter, however up until press time yesterday our calls wee not returned.

At last report the Mellors' vessel was said to be the centre of an invesigation being conducted by the department.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Garelle Hudson to represent The Bahamas at Miss Galaxy International Pageant in Germany


Freeport, Bahamas - Garelle hudson , the former Miss Grand Bahama who resigned her Crown late last year, Click Here for related article, is set to leave for Germany on Monday, February 22nd and returns March 7th, 2010 to participate in the "Miss Galaxy International" pageant. The event is set to take place in the international hub of transit, architecture and finance of Europe: Frankfurt, Germany. It is expected to host 130 contestants from countries all over the world, making it the largest (quantity-wise) beauty pageant as documented by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The pageant will be approximately ten (10) hours long, sectioned into various regional finals and semi-finals until one beautiful girl is crowned queen. The set regions are: North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia/Oceana. The Bahamas has been grouped with North America and it is in this category that Hudson will compete to attain the crown.
The pageant covers over a week of outings, television promotional shootings, sightseeing visits and group appearances around Germany concluding on February 28th/March 1st in a pageant extravaganza of hair, gowns and runway performances of grace, eloquence and poise.

"My decision to enter this pageant was one that weighed heavily on my mind for the past six months or so. However it was imperative that I continue to strive to set a standard not only for myself, but also an example to girls who look up to me as a resource for inspiration. It is seldom that the average twenty-year old is able to support herself in such a great feat and I would like to thank those who have kept me in their thoughts and prayers, and those that have supported me throughout the years. This pageant will be yet another opportunity to show the world that The Bahamas is filled with beauty, not only in its flora and fauna but in the hearts of it's beautiful Bahamian people, " said Garelle Hudson.

The pageant's official website's is

GBPA prepares for a seamless transition on Power's move

Once Grand Bahama Power moves to its new premises, GBPA’s new Customer Relations Department will move into the vacated office space, downstairs in ‘The Port’ building. Overseeing the delivery of superior customer service are: Nicole B. Colebrooke, Customer Relations Manager (centre left); and Melanie Stanislaus, Assistant Customer Relations Manager (centre right) along with members of the new GBPA Customer Relations Department

Freeport, Bahamas –The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and Port Group Limited (PGL) announce the relocation of its newly formed Customer Relations Department to the ground floor of the GBPA headquarters building, effective March 1, 2010.

The move comes about as the Grand Bahama Power Company, a tenant of the GBPA headquarters building, relocates to their new premises in early March.

“During the first two weeks of March, our cashiers will occupy a temporary space until renovations have been completed,” explains Customer Relations Department Manager, Mrs. Nicole Colebrooke.

“The public should expect a little disruption as work commences, however, the transitional cashier will be equipped to receive all payments related to the Group of Companies,” she adds.

The public is advised that once the Power Company moves to their new premises, payments for electricity bills will no longer be made in ‘The Port’ building.

According to Colebrooke, the Customer Relations’ cashier will accept all other payments, including: water, garbage, license fees, service charges, elevator inspection, all Building and Development payments, property rental and all other payments.

Additionally, new customer account numbers will automatically be issued for all utility bills. Effective March 1st, utility bills will change in color from green to blue and will be issued in the usual format, bearing the new account numbers.

An official opening of the 15-member, Customer Relations Department, in their newly renovated office space, is slated for March 15th.

“Management has formed this new Customer Relations Department with our customers in mind. Our focus is service with excellence. Therefore, we look forward to continuing to providing the residents of Grand Bahama Island and those abroad with quality service. The much anticipated move will result in expanded space for a committed team, eager to ensure that each need is met as we aim to provide superior service,” promises Colebrooke.

Supermodel of the Bahamas to hold final open call on Eleuthera Feb 27th prior to main event May 2nd

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The number one model search in The Bahamas is set for May 2nd in the Wyndham Crystal Palace, Rainforest Theatre. Supermodel of the Bahamas will bring 64 contestants from Grand Bahama, Abaco, Exuma, Eleuthera and New Providence to meet center stage to see who will be crowned Supermodel of the Bahamas, with this year to include a children's category. 
An open casting call will be held at the Quality Inn Cigatoo in Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera on February 27th from 1pm until 4pm. Do you have the looks, the style and grace to become a winner?

Founder of Supermodel of the Bahamas, OilinSha Coakley says, "The Supermodel of the Bahamas Organization is excited to be in our third season and bigger and better than ever. It's been exciting to travel to some of our family islands to scout beauty found there."
In the year 2010 the organization has expanded its event with a children’s category, looking to find young people ranging in ages from 3 years through to 13 years of age and from 14 through 21 years of age. 

  A registrant is interviewed by OilinSha Coakely, founder of Supermodel of the Bahamas at an open call at Bally Fitness in Nassau.

All individuals will be given the training and the tools to compete in front of seasoned professional judges from New York, Los Angeles, Florida and Jamaica; from agencies like Elite Model Management, and Pulse Models.
The title categories that will be awarded are; “ Little Supermodel Bahamas” which will go to one lucky boy and girl. “Commercial Model winner”  will be given to one male or female with the best voice, looks and personality. “Supermodel of the Bahamas”  will be awarded to one male and female. "Supermodel of the Bahamas" is the overall title and the winners will be awarded with cash and prizes worth $3000, a complete portfolio, representation with OilinSha’s Models & Talent Agency and the opportunity to compete in the “Top Model of the Universe” competition in Europe.  

 A young male registrant at a Nassau Open Call. One male and one female will be named the next Supermodel of the Bahamas, as well as the same in the Children's Category.

The overall title winners, Supermodels of the Bahamas will be flown to New York and accommodated in the OilinSha’s Models & Talent agency apartment. 
Calls for all other islands have been completed, this final call on Eleuthera is the last chance to get involved.
Tickets go on sale in March. Seat reservations are being taken now by calling 242- 325-5288.
Supermodel of the Bahamas wishes to thank Bahamas Air, Bally Total Fitness, Bahamas Weekly, Lyndah Wells Photography, the International Bazaar, Basheva Eve, the Abaco Beach Resort, Quality Inn Cigatoo, Fashionista, Pinkk Suga Kreations, Pulse Models Jamaica, Deco Bay, and ICANDY Swimwear.

 Past winner and Supermodel of the Bahamas, Omar modeling at New York Fashion Week.

Preliminaries and Float Parade are set for April 24th in Nassau.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Step into Teekie's Nest


By Shavaughn Moss ~ Lifestyles Editor ~

Plantain, sour sop pulp, mango chunks — whatever food you can think of that you can get fresh in The Bahamas, you can probably purchase from the frozen food section of the grocery store, but it's all packaged in a foreign country and shipped to The Bahamas for your consumption. But it took a young lady with vision to step up and bring a food that's uniquely Bahamian to the frozen section of local grocers.

It was by chance that I happened across a sign stuck to a freezer door in the Cable Beach City Market advertising frozen conch fritter batter for sale and I immediately got upset.

The only thought that went through my head was here we go again, a uniquely Bahamian product made and packaged by some foreign nationality with the vision and foresight to see the market for it. But, I was in for a shock to read that the frozen conch fritter batter, sold under the Teekie's Nest label was made and packaged in The Bahamas — by a Bahamian no less — and that put a smile on my face.

Glen Francis, the proprietress of Teekie's Nest, a label that pays tribute to Francis' grandmother (whose nickname was Teekie) and who taught her how to make the conch fritter batter that she now retails, says Teekie's Nest was birthed out of necessity — the lack of available jobs in today's ever-changing economy, and her epiphany as she heard the cry for good ole' fashioned conch fritters — crunchy on the outside and "conchy" on the inside.

"You go out and you can't get that t old-fashioned conch fritter that you're used to you know . . . 'conchy' and you can taste all the herbs in it. It just wasn't out there. You just get this 'bready' stuff all the time, and a few pieces of conch.

She tweaked grandmother Teekie's recipe with a few secret ingredients and the result she says was an instant hit with family and friends, and with the neighborhood people when she would fry up a few batches and sell from her mother's shop. But "dropping" fritters to retail for a few dollars became too much, and Francis then saw the bigger picture which she says was to share her conch fritters with a wider variety of people. She decided to package the batter to be sold in stores. Balducino Fine Food in the Cotton Tree Traders Plaza, East Bay Street, five City Market locations — Harbour Bay, Rosetta Street, Cable Beach, Seagrapes Shopping Center and Lyford Cay, and Robin Hood on the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway now carry her conch fritter batter, which are sold in half gallon and gallon sizes.

"Every Bahamian knows you can put a conch fritter batter in the freezer and go for it a year later and nothing's wrong with it. And it's very easy to defrost. You take it out of the freezer for a couple of minutes to defrost, take out what you want and refreeze the balance," she says.

Francis' batter is sold without baking powder, which has to be added after the batter has defrosted. Her directions doesn't exactly say how much baking powder to add per cup on her label, but she says you will know if you've added too much when the mixture starts to foam — a stage she says you don't want the mixture to get to because it will splatter and spread out into the pan if you add too much baking powder. If you do by chance happen to add too much baking powder, she says it's a problem that can be easily rectified by adding a little all-purpose flour to tone the batter mixture back down.

Drop by the spoonful into hot oil and cook for approximately two minutes per side she says for some of the most delicious conch fritters you will ever have.

Teekie's Nest has been on the market for a mere four months, but Francis is now a proud entrepreneur.

"I'd been working for 26 years for everyone else and running their business — first in banking and then as a manager at a major grocery store for many years, and thought I'd start something for myself. I liked to cook and entertain, and people always came to my house and complimented me on my food."

Francis left the grocery business in June 2008, took a break and started Teekie's Nest in August 2009. Teekie's Nest conch fritter batter has been available in stores since October 2009, professionally labeled and packaged because Francis is all too aware that presentation is everything, and she wanted her product to not only taste good, but to look good as well.

Francis says what makes Teekie's Nest conch fritter batter delicious is the fact that it has chunks of conch and herbs that you can see.

For now, Francis has a home-based business. She renovated a large storage shed on her property, installed cabinets, a work station, a stove and refrigerators and freezers and it's from there that she churns out her delicious conch fritter batter — the most requested Bahamian appetizer out there. She is currently looking to introduce a seafood batter (shrimp, lobster and conch) to the market.

As Francis looks to grow Teekie's Nest, she also churns out delicious guava duff in six flavors — pineapple, coconut, mango, rum raisin, guava and strawberry which she had for the Christmas holidays and again for Valentine's Day. Along with her conch fritter batter and duffs, Francis also sells coconut cake and benny cakes in various gas stations.

"My goal is that I want Teekie's Nest to sell just Bahamian treats, and I'm looking into exporting because I want the world to have a taste of the Bahamian stuff made by a Bahamian," says the proud Francis, who says her biggest champions are her fiancée Greg Sherman and her daughter Deshenell Swann.


Recipe: Glen Francis of Teekie's Nest

3 whole conchs, tenderized or chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tsps thyme, fresh or dried

1 tomato, chopped, optional

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 egg

2 cups water, or as needed

Goat pepper to taste

Oil to deep fry

Conch Fritter Sauce




Hot sauce

Flavored rum, optional

Tenderize and chop conch. Mix all herbs together with conch, then add flour, salt and pepper and season to taste. Add water and egg and mix to a thick consistency, until batter can drop off a spoon.

Heat oil in a deep pan. When hot, turn flame to a medium heat and then "drop" conch fritter batter from a spoon into the hot oil. Allow fritter to brown, turning at least once, cooking at two minutes per side. Serve with conch fritter sauce

Conch Fritter Sauce: For conch fritter sauce mix together mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and hot sauce until all lumps and are out and serve with fritters.


By James Sarles

It is a fact that property prices in Freeport have gone down over the last 2 years but this downward trend seems to have stabilized. If you look statistically at the actual transactions of what property sells for, not what the property is listed for you will see that there has been a correction in the market even if the property list prices have not reflected it yet. I can assure you that buyers who are making aggressive offers are getting noticed and there are many sellers that are tired of waiting for their property to sell and willing to negotiate on the price to reflect realistic current market value.

The good news is that if you are a buyer then 2010 is a great time to buy , but the trick is in the successful contract negotiations. There are motivated sellers in this buyers market but selling price for a home or investment property is only one factor in determining whether the buyer and seller reach an agreement. The sales contract (Purchase/Sale Agreement) has many facets that must be considered, understood and accepted by all. An experienced broker is a solid advantage to both buyer and seller, because they have been through countless transactions and understand the principles of successful negotiations. At James Sarles Realty we have seen deals fall apart over very minor, petty issues and we have saved deals where parties have walked away from the closing table. We don’t look at deal as done until the checks clear, you have keys in your hand and you move into the house.

The issue of price or consideration in your deal is only one aspect of the finances. The contract should specify who pays for stamp tax, legal fees, and real estate fees. A typical gross offer or list price that you may see advertised implies that stamp tax which ranges from 2% to 10% depending on price is customarily split between buyer and seller, each party pays for their own attorney fees which is approximately 2.5% each side and the seller pays for the real estate fees of 6% to 10%. BREA ( Bahamas Real Estate Association standards for “The Out Islands” are 8% for developed property and 10% for land though many brokers charge 6% to reflect Nassau and US standards. HOWEVER, any of these costs can be negotiated with either party paying any of the fees as the closing costs are NOT mandated by law. It’s real estate and it’s negotiable as long as it is clearly stated. Sometimes the purchaser makes a net offer which means that the seller receives whatever is offered and the purchaser agrees to pay ALL closing costs including ALL legal fees for both parties, ALL real estate fees, and ALL Government Stamp Tax. In a net deal the percentages of the legal fees, the real estate fees and the government stamp tax are based on the Net price. This is frowned upon by Bahamas Real Estate Association but it does go on.

An important clause that is left out of many contracts is who pays for conversion fees. If a foreigner is purchasing property from a Bahamian or if a Bahamian is purchasing from a foreigner there is a conversion charge from US dollars to Bahamian dollars (.995) or Bahamian Dollars to US (1.0125) as Bahamians can’t accept or hold US dollars based on Exchange Control Regulations. There is no hard and fast rule of who should pay for these charges. They can be paid by either party or split but MAKE SURE IT IS CLEAR WHO WILL PAY WHEN YOUR ARE NEGOTIATING THE DEAL!

If you have been thinking about getting in the market in 2010 this may be your opportunity to buy that property at a good price with sellers who are motivated which could be a win win for all parties.

Good Luck with your negotiations. Until next week.

Bahamian film 'RAIN" to appear on Showtime network- TODAY!!!!

Bahamian film 'RAIN' continues to jump from accolade to accolade, and is now well on the way to mainstream viewing as writer & director Maria Govan's award-winning feature will appear on the Showtime network at 8pm on the 18th and 19th of February and again on the 20th at 6:15pm.

One of the first indigenous feature films to come out of the Bahamas, RAIN, featuring Renel Brown as the title character and in her first film role, steers us away from the simplistic perception of a postcard paradise, instead taking us 'over the hill' into the challenged life of a young local girl determined to get to know the mother who abandoned her as a young child.

Shot in a style that combines gritty realism, a bold and unforgettable colour palette, soulful Bahamian music, and the use of local actors alongside seasoned pros, RAIN takes us on a journey into the heart of a child, into the pulse of a country and the spirit of its people.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Largest cargo ship on route to Freeport

A fishing boat is dwarfed by the MSC Tomoko the biggest ship that's ever come into the Port of Hampton Roads, according to port officals. Here it's just east of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010. (David B. Hollingsworth | The Virginian-Pilot)

By Robert McCabe
The Virginian-Pilot
© February 16, 2010

The biggest container ship to call on the port of Hampton Roads - the MSC Tomoko - arrived about noon Monday.

If you happened to be in the vicinity of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, it would have been hard to miss.

About as large as a Navy aircraft carrier, the Tomoko is about 1,090 feet long and 142 feet wide. It can carry the equivalent of about 8,400 20-foot containers, lined 17-wide across its deck. The huge white "MSC" initials on its hull stand for Mediterranean Shipping Co., the world's second-largest container shipping line.

The Virginia Port Authority late last week heralded the ship's arrival as a harbinger of the size of vessel the port will see once the Panama Canal is widened in about four years. The Tomoko and ships its size - and larger - are too big to pass through the canal now.

"The arrival of the MSC Tomoko marks an exciting milepost for The Port of Virginia," said Jerry A. Bridges, executive director of the port authority, in a posting on its blog. "The Suez Canal is unconstrained and the Panama Canal is undergoing a massive five-year expansion project. This doesn't mean all of the vessels calling Virginia are going to be this size, but this is the beginning."

Yet the authority blog posting offered little more information about the ship.

A Mediterranean Shipping Co. official in Charleston, S.C., who insisted on anonymity, said he could do no more than confirm basic facts about the ship, all of which can be found on the Internet.

The company official said the Hampton Roads stop was the line's third call in the port after including it in MSC's revised "Golden Gate" service, which links China and Southeast Asia with U.S. East Coast ports through the Suez Canal.

The Tomoko called in New York and Baltimore before heading to Hampton Roads, the MSC official confirmed. No one would say how long the ship would be in town, but its next destination is Freeport in the Bahamas before it steams back through the Suez Canal en route ultimately to Hong Kong.

Late Monday afternoon, port officials said they did not have accurate information about how many containers would be unloaded from and loaded onto the vessel, which berthed at Norfolk International Terminals.

Out of 4,661 container ships worldwide at the end of 2008, only 198 had a capacity of more than 8,000 20-foot containers, according to a 2009 report by RREEF Research, part of the Deutsche Bank Group.

Nearly 300 ships capable of handling 8,000-plus containers were on order, according to the report.

Brothers refute charges of harmful fishing

 Paul & David Mellor

Freeport News Reporter

Freeport, Grand Bahama- A net tuna fishing boat preying in the waters of Grand Bahama is allegedly the centre of an investigation by the Department of Marine Resources for being equipped with a device that can pose much threat to our treasured marine resources.

The Freeport News has learned that the boat, docked at a local marina, is reportedly operated by two Bahamian brothers, David and Paul Mellor. It was reportedly brought into The Bahamas from Italy by Dockwise and is valued at $2 million.

The vessel is said to be equipped with a fishing net, stretching for a about a mile long, with the capacity to capture large game fish and other marine life.

Sources say that this type of fishing allows the fishermen to catch everything including dolphins, sharks, turtles and other endangered species. Sources also allege that the boat is equipped with a device that chops up what the fishermen do not want for bait.

Other sources from the Department told the Freeport News that they are looking into the matter and explained that if a device like that does exist, it would not be allowed to operate.

Local fishermen and those in Abaco also reported that they fear that the large-scale tuna fishing will greatly deplete local tuna stocks and harm the multi-million dollar sport fishing industry, as well as harm protected species such as dolphins and juvenile fish.

This type of fishing, though never practiced in The Bahamas is said to be an experiment by the Department of Agriculture and Marine Resources.

However, sources from the Ministry of Tourism believe that something "sinister" is going on at the department as a Chinese group is reportedly having locals in North Andros harvest sea cucumber by the thousands for export.

Though unsure of the environmental implication associated with this, the source said, that it cannot be good as these organisms play a role in the cleaning of our pristine sea.

The Freeport News contacted the Mellor brothers on the matter in regard to their fishing boat and practices. They seemed more than happy to explain exactly what they are planning to do.

According to the duo most of what has been said about the Killer Tuna Boat, is untrue and many have been misinformed about their intentions.

Paul said as Bahamians we are unfortunately led by hype and conjecture without taking the time to find out the facts.

He said that in no way are they trying to deplete the tuna resources in our waters but are aiming to establish a type of aquaculture.

If managed correctly, the brothers maintained that it could create jobs for Bahamians and ensure that The Bahamas and the world's tuna stock continue to stay at near perfect levels.

Their plan- The Bahamas Pelagic Aqua-culture Tuna program – will facilitate and promote through scientific research and technical results that development of a substainable and profitable aquaculture industry that would be internationally recognized, the Mellor brothers explained.They are attempting to dispel rumours that have been circulating in recent weeks.

The pair refuted claims about the boat being equipped with a device to destroy marine life and said that when catching tuna, which travel in schools, if another sea animal is in the catch, they can be easily removed.

'If for some reason it ever does happen we have a open door in the tuna cage that we use to transfer the fish and that we can quite easily transfer the dolphins and other things in perfect condition," David said.

"We don't set our nets near or on the reef. We set them in open ocean in 3,000 feet of open ocean."

He pointed out that this is not an experiment by the Ministry and what they are attempting to do is not illegal. It has never been tried they added. David welcomed the public to research the information about tuna fishing at

Freeport Container Port unveils further expansion plans

Freeport Container Port- photo © Lyndah Wells

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Freeport Container Port will mark another milestone when the world's largest container ship docks at the facility this month, its chief executive revealing that expansion plans involve the addition of 10 more cranes and six berths - to make 2,000 metres of quay berthing space.

Gary Gilbert, who is chief executive of Freeport Harbour Company, Freeport Container Port and Grand Bahama Airport Company, disclosed that the container port was expecting a container vessel bigger than Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Sea, the world's largest cruise ship, to dock on February 15-16.

"If you are will see the largest ship coming into this hemisphere at 8,800 containers, which will be docking, and another the following week. They are massive - if you thought Oasis is big, come and enjoy the sight," he told attendees at the second annual Bahamas International Maritime Conference in Freeport.

Mr Gilbert said Grand Bahama's harbour was the deepest and largest in the Caribbean, providing the foundation for the most diversified port in the Western Hemisphere.

Grand Bahama's shipping facilities consist of a newly-refurbished $20 million cruise ship terminal, an expanding Container Port, a world-class ship care facility, and mega yacht repair facility.

"The harbour continues to grow larger daily. We actually harvest vast amounts of limestone, and create depth that is the deepest harbour in the region and hemisphere," Mr Gilbert said.

He believes the Freeport Container Port has a very bright future, describing it as one of the proud jewels of Hutchison Whampoa's investments in Grand Bahama.
With a channel draught of 16 metres, Mr Gilbert said the Container Port can accommodate the largest container ships in the world. It has capacity for 1.5 million containers, and the 24-hour operation employs 700 employees.

He added that as part of the container security initiative and mega ports security port, the Freeport Container Port has screened more than 2.5 million containers since 2005.

"We check for radiation in every single container, and we had people trained with the US Department of Energy. We started it in 2005, and we are the very first to start it globally," Mr Gilbert said.

He added that expansions were continuing at the Freeport Container Port, saying: "We are looking to have quay berth of almost 2,000 metres with 16 post-Panamax cranes. We have two harbour cranes, 10 gantry cranes and 94 straddle carriers.

"We are working to create a Caribbean feeder berth for ships that come from Europe and Asia," he added.

"We are looking to add six more berths for a total of 10, and bring in another 10 cranes. Every day our harbour gets deeper and larger as we mine rock with Bahamas Rock and it is a win, win you can have environmentally."

The cruise port facility has seen also significant improvements, Mr Gilbert said. He added that some $20 million was spent on refurbishment of the facility, which has a retail village and two major cruise berths.

During 2009, there were 205 cruise visits with nearly half a million passengers, and 250,000 visitors on ferries.

Mr Gilbert said investments have also been made in the Airport and in the development of a Sea Air Business Centre.

The newly-rebuilt airport has an 11,000-foot runway, a new passenger terminal and control tower.

"We have a brand new post-9/11 secure airport that can take any plane that flies today, and we have US pre-clearance for all destinations in the US," added Mr Gilbert.

He said the Sea Air Business Centre, situated on 750 acres of land between the airport and harbour, provides a great opportunity for attracting businesses to Grand Bahama.

Grand Bahama real estate springing forward

 Aerial Photo of Grand Bahama © 2010 Lyndah Wells 
By Inderia Saunders ~ Guardian Business Reporter ~

Real estate in Grand Bahama appears to be bouncing back before any of the other islands, with that island's Chamber of Commerce chief noting a shift in particular in interest from second-home buyers.

"Real estate is coming back," said Chamber President Peter Turnquest. "Things have been slow in 2009, but they're beginning to see the return of the second home buyers.

"They're [also] beginning to see a bit of property value increase."

This follows a slow year for real estate sales in The Bahamas, where the entire market saw a shift in the time houses lingered on the market. Unlike most of the region and even the Family Islands, home and land prices in New Providence, however, have been largely recession-proof. That's despite a noted drawback in buyer enthusiasm.

But according to Turnquest, the tide appeared to be shifting for Grand Bahama now.

"There are great opportunities and deals in Grand Bahama," he added. "It's still one of the best buys in The Bahamas and maybe in the southern U.S.

"So it's a really attractive market."

Recently, the head of the Bahamas Real Estate Association suggested the holiday shopping season had provided the perfect opportunity for buyers to see as much as a 10 percent discount on property prices.

It's an opportunity created by relatively slow sales leading up to the month of December, something that has placed developers in a merry mood to bargain in order to generate sales. It's a developing trend that applies throughout the Family Islands.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Discovery Relocates Its Ft. Lauderdale Warehouse Facility

MIAMI, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Cruise Line announced that it has relocated its Ft. Lauderdale warehousing and shipping facility operated by Discovery Express across the street from its previous location. The address of the new facility is 999 Eller Drive, Bay A8.

The larger and better facility is across the street from the previous one.
According to Hanns J. Hahn, General Manager of the cruise line, "Our new and larger facility provides more covered space and, besides shipping boxes, pallets, and bins, we are now also shipping cars, vans and trailers as well as dry and refrigerated containers of all sizes. If the shipper does not require a full refrigerated container, we consolidate perishable cargo once a week."

Discovery provides a convenient, reliable and affordable way to ship to Grand Bahama, with Discovery Express. "We have been providing the South Florida and Bahamian markets with excellent service for many years. With the new location we are able to expand our capabilities and provide even better shipping and service," said Hahn.

The transportation component is provided by Discovery Cruise Line, the largest tour operator from South Florida to Grand Bahama Island, sailing daily except Wednesdays.

For more information call 954-463-2202 or 242-352-8206, or visit

SOURCE Discovery Cruise Line

Monday, February 15, 2010

(VIDEO) Author Terry McMillan treats Grand Bahama to Exclusive Reading from New Book

Author Terry Mcmillan photo: Lyndah Wells

Author Terry McMillan with guests photo: Lyndah Wells

By The Bahamas Weekly News Team

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - Saturday February 13th, 2010 Bestselling author Terry McMillan treated visitors and Grand Bahamians in attendance at Island Heartbeats Experience 2010 at Ross University, to an exclusive sneak peek glimpse into her upcoming sequel to " Waiting to Exhale".

The all ladies group in attendance got the opportunity to not only mix and mingle with the famous author, but they also experienced the unique privilege of being able to listen to Terry as she read an excerpt from her upcoming sequel to " Waiting to Exhale" entitled, "Getting to Happy".

The Bahamas Weekly News Team was on-hand to cover this exclusive and we are pleased to present herewith Terry's preface to the reading from her new book, as she expresses the framework of her new novel sequel to an eager audience who were completely in sync with her anecdotes and antics.

Author Terry McMillan with David Mackey & Robbin Whachell, of The Bahamas Weekly, Media sponsors photo: Lyndah Wells

At the end of this video you will hear commentary from a few of the attendees who graciously express their pleasure with having the opportunity of being touched by Terry McMillan's new book through her reading and her one to one, woman to woman approach to communicating with them from the heart. You will also hear from Nicole Scott, founder of Island Heart Beats Experience who gives an overview of how the annual event went this year.
Terry McMillan recieving a gift form local Lawyer Ntshonda Tynes photo: Lyndah Wells

Terry McMillan, critically acclaimed author of “ Disappearing Acts,” “ Waiting to Exhale” and “ How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and the new soon-to-be released book “ Getting to Happy,” says “All women need to take their hearts on a vacation and what better place than The Bahamas.”

“The Islands of The Bahamas is honored to be the host destination of Island Heart Beats: Take Your Heart on Vacation,” said Anita Johnson-Patty, communications manager of the Americas, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. “We feel confident that the women participating in this unique Valentine’s Day vacation getaway will fall in love with the warmth and beauty of Grand Bahama Island, the friendliness of the Bahamian people, and our shared history and culture with the African American community.”

Terry McMillan with photographer & Taste of Grand Bahama Blogger- Lyndah Wells

For additional information or to register for the next Island Heart Beats: “Take Your Heart on Vacation”, visit or please cal 407-574-8633.

Island Heart Beats Experience “Take Your Heart on Vacation” is created and produced by Turquoise Waters Productions, an Orlando, Florida special events production company.