The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of more than 3,000 islands, cays, and islets. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States (nearest to the state of Florida).
The Bahamas announced Tuesday  morning it would end all commercial shark fishing in its waters, an area that encompasses more than 240,000 square miles.
The move — under which only the catch and release of sharks is permitted — marks the second time in two weeks that a Caribbean nation has enacted broad protections for sharks in its exclusive economic zone. Honduras instituted a total ban on shark fishing in its waters June 24.
Seeking to step up the fight against crime, Bahamian officials signed a $4.6 million contract Wednesday  to install a “comprehensive” Closed Circuit Television network.
The agreement means 243 cameras will be deployed in New Providence in key locations and crime “hot spots” as part of what is the first phase of an anti-crime initiative that National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest called a “critical milestone.”
A Government witness in the drug trial of a reputed leader in Colombian cocaine trafficking testified Tuesday  that he had been told the defendant paid $88,000 a month in protection money to Bahamian Prime Minister Lynden O. Pindling.
Thomas Harney, the Government witness, testified that he had been told that the defendant, Carlos Lehder Rivas, paid the Bahamian Prime Minister the money on the 22d of each month to protect a drug-smuggling operation based on Norman's Cay, an island in the Bahamas.
Hundreds of immigration and customs workers in the Bahamas are on strike and likely won’t go back to work until after the May 7 general elections, a union official said Saturday.
Customs union spokesman K. Renaldo Collie said his union and others have been demanding new contracts for two years and accuse the government of slashing some salaries by as much as 60 percent without consultation. They also said the government is not allowing sufficient rest between shifts.
The Bahamas is a destination for migrants from its strife-torn Caribbean neighbour, Haiti. Tens of thousands of Haitians are thought to be living illegally in the country.
The huge growth in the services sector of the economy has prompted people to leave fishing and farming villages for the commercial centres in New Providence Island, Grand Bahama and Great Abaco.
This trend has compounded the islands' dependence on tourism and banking.
The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force.
After the American Revolution, several thousand Loyalists from the former colonies emigrated to The Bahamas. Some of these, especially southerners, brought their black slaves with them and tried their luck at planting sea-island cotton in the Out Islands, as the islands other than New Providence were called. Growing cotton was not a success, as the plants fell prey to the chenille bug, but by then, the former Deep South planters had learned to fish, grow vegetables, and provide for their families and servants in other ways.
The Civil War in America brought a transient prosperity to The Bahamas through blockade-running. Nassau became a vital base for the Confederates, with vessels taking manufactured goods into the Carolinas and bringing out cotton. The Union's victory ended blockade-running and plunged Nassau into economic depression.
Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783.