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Abaco News
BAIC launches agricultural land lease program in Spring City and Norman’s Castle, Abaco
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 03 April 2015 15:07

ABACO, The Bahamas -- The Hon. Dion D. Smith, Executive Chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) formally launched the Abaco Agricultural Program for the Spring City and Norman’s Castle areas at a ground breaking ceremony held on Friday, March 27th 2015 in Spring City, Abaco.

In keeping with the government’s pursuit to develop the agricultural sector and forge ahead with decreasing our billion-dollar food import bill, BAIC is moving throughout the Family Islands to ensure that Bahamians are afforded the opportunity to help reduce this bill.

The Corporation has agricultural land in the Spring City and Norman’s Castle settlements that will be available for lease to Bahamians who are interested in farming. This includes vegetable and fruit production, greenhouses, aquaponics, hydroponics, seafood production, livestock and poultry farming.

Also included in this agricultural land lease program are provisions for the food processing and handicraft sectors. It is envisaged that more Bahamians would become involved in the value added concentrations of the agricultural sector. For example, this means that once the tomatoes have been grown, BAIC would then encourage processing, canning and bottling of products such as pizza sauces, tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, as well as jams and jellies

As it relates to the handicraft sector, Bahamians can pursue coconut farming, sisal production, and acquire land to build a facility to develop handicraft products, jewelry making, and souvenir items.

Immigration interdiction exercise in Abaco in second day
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 19 March 2015 16:51

The Department of Immigration continues its interdiction exercise in Abaco in search of the 60 or so migrants believed to have illegally entered The Bahamas from Haiti on the 12th March.

To date, forty-eight people have been detained and are to be brought to Nassau for further processing.   

There was on incident in which a Bahamian citizen has been charged with attempting to assault immigration officers with a knife. He was charged in the magistrate’s court in Marsh Harbour with an offence.

The Officers on the scene report that the cooperation of the people of Abaco has been excellent notwithstanding the incident and the checks will continue.

The operations are expected to continue throughout the month.

Communication by Fred Mitchell MP on Immigration operations in Abaco
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 19 March 2015 06:24
Communication by Fred Mitchell MP
House of Assembly
18th March 2015
Nassau, The Bahamas

On Operations in Abaco

Following on a report that 60 people believed to be from Haiti slipped in undetected into Abaco and without visas in the early hours of 12th March, a period of more intensive checks has been mounted in Abaco by the Department of Immigration beginning today.

Immigration officers were transported by HMBS Nassau this morning to Marsh Harbour and began immigration checks assisting the local immigration force. The Department of Immigration is supported by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is also on standby for support.

The operations will unfold over several days.
Minister of Education opens preschool units at primary schools in North and South Abaco
Submitted by Nikki Bethell   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 08:13

ABACO, The Bahamas -- On Thursday, 12th March 2015, the Minister and a team of Education Officials visited the James A. Pinder Primary School in Sandy Point to officially commission the Preschool unit. Making good on his promise to increase access to preschool education not just in New Providence but throughout the Family Islands, the residents of South Abaco expressed their appreciation and gratitude for having a preschool attached to the primary school.

The Minister of Education, Science and Technology highlighted the importance of preschool education and made reference to research regarding the benefits of preschool. “According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) children who attend a high-quality preschool enter grade school with better reading skills, richer vocabularies and stronger basic math skills that those who do not.” He further emphasized than the beauty of our preschool environments is that children are given the opportunity to explore, create, imagine, observe, listen, ask questions, try new things and very importantly, practice the skills they learn.

The Minister also heralded Mrs. Agatha Archer, a pioneer in early childhood education for her tenacity in establishing preschools, as well as the role she plays as Co-Chair of the recently formed Preschool Council. Committed to making preschool mandatory and changing the entry age to four, the Minister indicated that the Early Childhood Care Act has been passed by Parliament and this will continue to be an area of importance for the Ministry.

Minister Fitzgerald charged the parents to play an active role in their children’s learning and to model the behavior they wish their children to emulate. He also emphasized that parents are the child’s first teacher and that school should be an extension of the home.

iJet Charters announces Saturday premium class direct flights from Westchester County to Marsh Harbour
Submitted by John Bell   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 07:19

WHITE PLAINS, New York -- Owners of iJet Charters and Wildcat Touring today announced the launch of scheduled Saturday charter flights from Westchester County Airport to Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco in the Bahamas.

Jim Swieter, founder of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based iJet Charters, said the scheduled flight will begin on April 4th.  Swieter said the scheduled charter service is flying a new Saab 2000 aircraft, owned by Director of Carrier Meregrass, Inc., DBA Wildcat Touring.

Great Abaco and its popular destinations Marsh Harbour and Hope Town attract thousands of monthly visitors from the Northeastern U.S. during the season.

Saturday flights from Westchester County Airport to Marsh Harbour are priced at $622.  Roundtrip flights are priced at $1293. For reservations please call 888-462-0462 or go to  The company is also launching scheduled service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International’s (FLL) SheltAir terminal to Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera and Key West.

The 30-passenger aircraft features all premium class seating and high-speed travel with an average cruising speed of 425 mph with a maximum certified ceiling of 31,000 ft and a non-stop range of 1,300 statute miles. Equipped with an “all glass” flight deck (Collins Pro-Line IV), Meregrass’ Saab 2000 is the first and only aircraft of its type to operate on a 135-charter certificate.  It seats 30 passengers in a cabin designed to accommodate 50.  Consequently the seat pitch provides ample legroom.

2015 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend is coming
Submitted by PROMPT   
Friday, 06 March 2015 09:35
TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- The 2015 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend is coming to Treasure Cay, March 20-22nd!  The weekend of events for all ages begins on Friday:
  • Fri, 5pm - 1 Mile Open Water Swim
  • Sat, 7:30am - Sprint & Olympic Triathlons (Ind & Relay)
  • Sat, 11am - 1 Mile Kids' Run
  • Sun, 8am - 5k/10k Fun Run/Walk
Don't miss the 4th Annual Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend. Fun for the entire family! Goodie bags, t-shirts, finisher's medals, and more for every participant along with great giveways and raffles.  Click HERE to visit the website to register.  

Proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Abaco and Friends Of The Environment.
Guana Cay reefs suffering extensive damage
Submitted by DP&A   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 07:08

Environmentalists’ warnings proven right; runoff from Baker’s Bay golf course leading to destruction of coral system

Smith and Albury examine the reefs around Guana Cay, where algae growth caused by runoff from the Baker’s Bay golf course is overwhelming and killing the coral. GUANA CAY, Abaco -- The once pristine reef system surrounding the tiny island of Guana Cay in the Abacos has suffered extensive damage since construction of the controversial Baker’s Bay development, environmentalists say.

The Save Guana Cay Reef Association (SGCRA), which mounted a groundbreaking five-year legal campaign in opposition to the project, warned of serious implications for the reef – recognized as one of the best dive sites in the world – as well as for the rest of the previously unspoiled island. It is now clear that their predictions have come true.

“There has been environmental desecration out here,” said leading environmental advocate Fred Smith, QC. “They burned the entire forest, they tore down the mangroves, they dug it all up.

“They’ve got a golf course, and the chemicals are seeping into the reefs that are there. It is environmental rape and pillage.”

Smith, chairman of fast-growing social and environmental movement Save The Bays, fought alongside the SCGRA between 2004 and 2009 for the rights of Guana Cay residents. During a recent visit to the island, he dove the reefs along with association president Troy Albury to witness firsthand the extent of the damage.

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